23 Jan 2013

US Embassy in PNG says Ambassador did not meet with Vanuatu's Carlot

5:32 am on 23 January 2013

The US Embassy in Papua New Guinea has dismissed newspaper reports in the country that the Ambassador Walter North met with the Vanuatu Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot last week.

Confusion surrounds Mr Carlot's visit to PNG which coincided with the controversial transit of a private plane carrying two Vanuatu diplomatic passport holders, including Pascal Anh Saken.

Saken is the owner of the super yacht Phocea which has been detained in Vanuatu since July when it was seized on suspicion of passport fraud and drugs trading.

After arriving without proper aviation clearance, the jet's passengers were investigated by PNG police and immigration officials along with Mr Carlot.

Mr Carlot and Vanuatu's government have provided conflicting accounts of why Mr Carlot was in Moresby.

However a spokesman at the embassy, Regis Prevot, says certain media outlets have jumped to conclusions about what occurred.

"Most of the thing here was about the Foreign Minister coming, meeting with the US Ambassador, and no meeting took place."

Regis Prevot from the US Embassy in PNG.