11 Dec 2003

Australia and PNG to finalise police deployment deal

5:13 pm on 11 December 2003

Talks are being held in Adelaide between the Australain foreign minister, Alexander Downer, and a Papua New Guinea ministerial delegation to finalise a deal to send up to 200 Australian police and advisers to PNG.

His PNG counterpart, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, is also to discuss the future of Australia's 200 million US dollar annual aid allocation to PNG.

Mr Downer says the deployment will help PNG address key challenges in the law and order and justice sector and help refine the country's economic and budgetary management.

The proposals initially sparked outrage in PNG when they were first raised, with PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare accusing Australia of behaving like a colonial power.