Tkatchenko called out for International Trips

Minister for State assisting Prime Minister, Justin Tkatchenko was questioned for his role in the recent International trips he took with the Prime Minister James Marape to the Republic of China and the United States of America.

Member for Chuave, James Nomane, asked for clarification today during the 2nd Parliament sitting.

“Recently, we have seen on a few of the International trips with the Prime Minister, that we have had the Minister assisting the Prime Minister representing the Independent State of PNG on these trips engaging with foreign entities like China and the United States of America.

“I just want the good Minister to clarify at this honourable house and the people of Papua New Guinea, in what capacity is he going around these foreign nations engaging with these foreign states? Is he doing it as the Foreign Affairs Minister? Is he doing this as the State assisting the Prime Minister and what legislation empowers him to do that?

Minister assisting Prime Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, responded stating that his recent trips were the Prime Minister’s decision.

“I am appointed by the Prime Minister under his prerogative, his jurisdiction by law as the Minister for State assisting the Prime Minister on foreign affairs matters that represent this country. I am doing that on the basis for representing this country in many different international organizations, meetings for diplomacy and to ensure our country moves forward in the right direction on foreign policy and also in our diplomatic scene.

“At no stage have I been appointed illegally, but I think if you’d like to seek clarification, it’s best you go straight to the source and that is our Prime Minister, it’s his prerogative to make decisions in this regard when it comes to ministry and I am following his direction as the Minister for State assisting him on Foreign Affairs matters.

The international trip to USA this month was to attend the 2023 APEC Summit and other members of parliament and ministers who accompanied the Prime Minister to this meeting were Minister for Public Service, Joe Sungi, Minister for Labour and Employment Kessy Sawang, Member for Moresby East, John Kaupa and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Elias Wohengu. 

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