6 Mar 2008

Australian PM arrives in PNG for three-day visit

3:06 pm on 6 March 2008

Kevin Rudd has touched down in Port Moresby for his first visit to Papua New Guinea as Australia's prime minister.

Mr Rudd flew in this morning to be greeted by PNG ministers, Australian diplomatic staff, a military band and dancers in traditional costume.

Soldiers patrolled the airport as well-wishers, many waving Australian flags, gathered to welcome the prime minister.

Mr Rudd, his PNG counterpart Sir Michael Somare and other officials will discuss climate change initiatives, the Kokoda Track and the viability of a seasonal migrant workers scheme in Australia.

He is also expected to discuss the possibility of putting Australian police back on PNG streets, as part of a revamped Enhanced Cooperation Programme.

Mr Rudd's three-day visit is the first by an Australian prime minister to PNG since John Howard attended the Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting in October 2005.