23 Apr 2008

PNG ministers meet Australian counterparts in Madang

1:30 pm on 23 April 2008

Papua New Guinean and Australian government ministers have begun a meeting in Madang aimed at mending ties between the two nations that became frayed under the previous Australian government.

A range of bilateral issues will be discussed during the meeting which is the first of its kind since 2005.

The PNG Foreign Minister Sam Abal said a new page in Australia-PNG relations had been opened, but he repeated calls for Australian funding to PNG to be better spent.

The Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith said today's meeting continued his government's fence-mending agenda with PNG, which Australia regards as a key player in the Pacific.