10 Apr 2008

Britain dismisses rumours of army recruitment office opening in PNG

7:55 pm on 10 April 2008

Britain has dismissed reports of a new army recruitment deal with Papua New Guinea which sparked huge interest in PNG because of the high wages soldiers would earn.

The British High Commission in PNG was recently swamped with calls after stories emerged suggesting a British recruitment office could be opened in the country.

However, the British High Commissioner, David Dunn, says while it was encouraging to see the huge level of interest in recruitment, there is no change to the existing arrangements.

"What happened was the PNG High Commissioner wrote to the UK MOD [United Kingdom Ministry of Defence] just asking for clarification of what the current situation was and the UK Armed Forces minister wrote back saying things were the same as they've always been which is any Commonwealth citizen is able to join the UK army as long as they pass qualifying tests of course."

While, Fijians have an agreement under which they can complete a British armed forces entry exam in their capital Suva, David Dunn says there are no current plans to set up such a scheme in PNG.