26 May 2005

Australian and PNG Foreign ministers meet to discuss immunity problem

10:19 am on 26 May 2005

Australia will today begin ministerial level talks to try to find a way to resume an aborted programme aimed at improving policing in Papua New Guinea.

The Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will meet PNG's Foreign Minister and Internal Security Minister to talk through ways to resume the Enhanced Cooperation Program.

Last week, 115 Australia police officers returned early from their assignment after a PNG Supreme Court ruling removed their immunity from prosecution.

The court decided the immunity was invalid under the constitution.

The Australian government says it will resume the programme if a solution to the problem can be found.