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Australia and PNG Sign $140 million Loan deal amid Political Turmoil

 Australia and PNG have signed off on a new $AUD140-million loan to help the pacific country's struggling economy.

Papua New Guinea's Treasurer says he met with Australia's High Commissioner to formalise the loan on Sunday.

PNG's Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey says the funds will be used to repay government debts to PNG businesses.

"The focus of the Marape Government is to use this funding to pay off O'Neil's massive multi-billion debt to our businesses"

"With these payments, we are injecting cash back into our local business that had been cash strapped," he said.

The additional financial support was first revealed in September and comes a year after a Australia gave another loan worth AUD$440 million dollars.

Repayments on it have been suspended in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal comes amid ongoing political upheaval in PNG, where dozens of MPs have joined the opposition. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison cancelled a planned trip to the country this week because of the political upheaval.

Debate about a recent adjournment of parliament which would delay a vote of no confidence in the current Prime Minister will head to the Supreme Court this week.

Source: Radio Australia

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