22 Sep 2004

PNG expects consultation in Australia's new pre-emption policy

4:24 pm on 22 September 2004

Papua New Guinea says it expects to be consulted by Australia over any concerns Australia might have about terrorism emanating from its shores.

Australia has said it will launch pre-emptive strikes on terrorist bases in the region, including the Pacific, where governments cannot or won't stop attacks themselves.

The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says the policy is aimed at failed states, which he will not name.

Papua New Guinea's Acting Foreign Minister, Sir Moi Avei, says Papua New Guinea does not view itself as a failed state.

Sir Moi says PNG regards itself as a sovereign state and would expect Australia to consult it over any concerns it might have about terrorism relating to PNG.

"There is no way in the world the sovereign state of Papua New Guinea is simply going to be treated in that manner. We expect constructive dialogue to remain that underpins the relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia."

Sir Moi says PNG would expect normal international protocols to be followed.

He also says PNG is quick to seek help from Australia and New Zealand where it needs assistance, such as with Bougainville.