14 Dec 2007

Australia and PNG to mend fences after row over Moti

4:13 pm on 14 December 2007

Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to end a diplomatic freeze that started when PNG allowed the escape of Julian Moti.

Last year Mr Moti, who is now the Solomon Islands attorney general, was allowed to fly out of Port Moresby with the prime minister Sir Michael Somare's assistance, in violation of an Australian extradition application.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that after talks in Bali yesterday, the new Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, said it was time to turn a new page in Australia's relationship with PNG.

Mr Rudd ignored the issue of the PNG Prime Minister's involvement in Mr Moti's escape, but he said Australia remained determined to prosecute Mr Moti on child sex allegations dating back to his time in Vanuatu.