Friday 25 November 2022

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has held fruitful discussions with French Minister of State for Development Francophonie and International, Partnerships Ms Chrysoula Zacharopoulou   who is in Papua New Guinea for a two-day visit.

Ms Zacharopoulou i held discussions with other PNG Government agencies and institutions as part of her State visit.

She held talks with Prime Minister Marape in Port Moresby on Wednesday (November 23 November), and reaffirmed France’s commitment to supporting   development in PNG and the Pacific region, including, strengthening both countries’ bilateral relationships.

Mr Marape and Minister Zacharopoulou held discussions on issues of trade, diplomatic and social issues in PNG.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Lands and Physical Planning Minister Hon. John Ross and PNG’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko accompanied Prime Minister Marape, including senior French Government officials during the meeting.

Prime Minister Marape said it was pleasing to note for the first time in many years PNG is keen to welcome and host a senior Minister of the Government of France.

“We welcome you to PNG and we value our historical relations with the people of France. Indeed, France is the gateway to Europe.

“The Government of PNG, which I lead, assure you, President Emmanuel Macron and the Government of France that we want France to have a strong and permanent presence in PNG.

“We will offer you a parcel of land somewhere in Port Moresby so France can build its permanent Embassy building in the country,” he said.

Prime Minister Marape also expressed satisfaction for investors from France and other French citizens who are working and living in PNG serving many parts of the country both in the business, religious and social sector.

“We have many big French companies like Total Energies in the country and that is also a good fitting reason for France to have a permanent office in Port Moresby,’’ he said.

The official diplomatic relations between Papua New Guinea and France were established in 1976, a year after PNG gained its independence in 1975.

France has an Embassy in Port Moresby but PNG has no diplomatic representation in France. The PNG Embassy in Brussels covers France.

Prime Minister,  James Marape   and Minister Zacharopoulou with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, John Rosso (left) and Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko (right).(photo credit: PM’s Media).