PNG, SI Pledge to Strengthen Diplomatic Ties

Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands have reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing diplomatic relations and signing outstanding bilateral agreements during an official meeting held on Friday, February 2, 2024.

In a press release issued by PNG's Foreign Affairs Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, it was highlighted that both nations are poised to accelerate the signing of crucial agreements aimed at bolstering cooperation.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner William Soaki, during his official visit, extended congratulations to Minister Tkatchenko and expressed eagerness to continue the positive trajectory of bilateral relations.

The pending agreements encompass vital areas such as border arrangements, sovereignty on maritime boundaries, administration of special areas, and joint surveillance efforts in marine borders. Additionally, discussions centred on revising agreements regarding tertiary education cooperation, bio-security customs, and police cooperation.

Minister Tkatchenko emphasized PNG's commitment to finalizing these agreements by the end of February, notwithstanding the impending elections in the Solomon Islands.

He assured that negotiations on key agreements, including the Air Services Agreement and Tertiary Education Cooperation, will be concluded after the formation of the new Solomon Islands government.

The meeting also addressed the proposal for establishing the Solomon Islands and PNG Business Council, reflecting the growing interest of Papua New Guinean investors in the Solomon Islands market.

Both parties acknowledged the challenges ahead but expressed optimism in the leadership's ability to navigate complexities and reach consensus on critical issues. High Commissioner Soaki echoed the sentiment, stressing the importance of collaboration and dialogue in fostering enduring partnerships.

Both nations are committed to fostering closer ties and facilitating mutually beneficial engagements across various sectors.

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