Papua New Guinea (PNG) will today (Monday) sign a defence pact with the United States as it hosts Washington’s top diplomat and India’s prime minister for separate talks likely to be dominated by China’s increasing influence in the Pacific.
PNG which is located just north of Australia, is strategically important and was the site of fierce battles during World War II.
The US State Department said the Defence Cooperation Agreement would ‘enhance security cooperation and further strengthen our bilateral relationship, improve the capacity of the PNG Defence Force, and increase stability and security in the region’.
PNG Prime Minister James Marape revealed that the deal would help his country face significant challenges.
‘We have our internal security as well as our sovereignty security issues,’ Marape said on Monday morning. ‘We are stepping up on that front to make sure our borders are secure.’