Australian diplomat leaves PNG posting early

11:44 am on 23 July 2015

Australia's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea has concluded her posting early, with Canberra declining to give a reason why.

Australian diplomat Deborah Stokes has finished her posting as High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea early.

Australian diplomat Deborah Stokes has finished her posting as High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea early. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Deborah Stokes was appointed in March 2013 and finished last week, although it was understood she still had eight months to go on her Port Moresby posting.

Some observers have speculated that her early withdrawal is connected to the diplomatic row that erupted earlier in the year over a planned Australian diplomatic mission in Bougainville.

PNG's prime minister Peter O'Neill complained that he hadn't been consulted and retaliated by placing a ban on Australians travelling to Bougainville.

The ban has since been lifted and Canberra conceded there was "miscommunication" with PNG over the plan.

Ms Stokes is reportedly to take up another overseas posting.

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