28 Oct 2005

PNG foreign minister enthusiastic about Forum decisions

11:41 am on 28 October 2005

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, says he is delighted at the way the spat over temporary work visas was resolved during the Forum summit.

The summit finished yesterday with the Pacific Plan being signed off by the region's leaders.

In the leadup, island countries had been pushing for temporary visa access for their workers but Australia and New Zealand were opposed.

While the Plan did not accept labour mobility, it did provide direction for it to be further investigated, and Sir Rabbie, who has been a staunch critic of the Australian position, particularly, was delighted.

"What I think it has also stimulated is a proposal that has come from Australia which we welcome very much. This is to set up a regional institution which will assist the Pacific Islands to train skilled people in trades and other areas as well."