Wednesday 03rd May 2023

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has appealed to Papua New Guineans to be cautious when making comments about the visits of US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Hon. Narendra Modi to the country later this month.

He said this today (Wednesday, May 3, 2023) in light of an increasing number of comments, on both social and mainstream media, in the lead-up to the visits by the two world leaders.

President Biden will make a historic visit to the country on Monday, May 22, 2023.

He will have a bilateral meeting with PM Marape as well as have a meeting with 18 Pacific Island leaders of the Pacific Island Forum, who will be in Port Moresby at the same time for the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC).

“I want to appeal to all Papua New Guinea commentators, on both social and mainstream media, to refrain from unnecessary comments and innuendoes about the visits of President Biden and Prime Minister Modi,” PM Marape said.

“Such visits are not easy to put together, as Papua New Guinea is not the only country in the Indo-Pacific region that they could have chosen to visit, especially at a time like this.

“Let us not take such visits for granted. I appeal to all commentators on both mainstream and social media to refrain from making unnecessary inferences, especially on matters that you know little of, such as global geo-politics and various other issues.”

PM Marape said Papua New Guineans should appreciate that leaders of two of the biggest economies in the world had chosen to visit the country.

“Papua New Guinea remains friends to all and enemies to none – a foundational policy that was deeply Pangu Pati’s at the time of Independence in 1975” he said.

“Being friends to all and enemies to none, we have relationships with all countries. These relationships are invaluable.

“India is a huge country – a global economic powerhouse – and it is good for PNG that we have a good relationship with them. India is currently ranked as the fourth-largest economy in the world and will continue to grow bigger.

“USA is the No. 1 economy in the world.

“The leaders of the USA and India chose to visit us when they could have easily gone elsewhere, so let us respect their choice to visit us.

“Let us put on a fitting welcome for these world leaders, as well as those from the Pacific, and make their stay a memorable one.

“I thank President Biden and Prime Minister Modi for this huge vote-of-confidence in PNG.”

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