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Historic Bilateral Meeting between PNG and Indonesia at Land Border

In a landmark event underscoring diplomatic ties and regional cooperation, Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Masurdi, convened at the PNG-Indonesia land border for a bilateral meeting.

"Minister Tkatchenko will write history today [Wednesday]. This is the first time that a bilateral meeting between Foreign Ministers of Indonesia and PNG is taking place in Jayapura," Mrs. Masurdi announced during a joint press conference following the 4th Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) and 3rd Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) from May 8-9.

 Historic Bilateral Meeting between PNG and Indonesia at Land Border [Photo by PNG Foreign Ministry]

The significance of the meetings was not lost on either side, with Indonesia witnessing a first in its history as a sitting Foreign Minister visited Jayapura.

"As an immediate neighbor, PNG is a natural partner for Indonesia," stated the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister.

In response, Minister Tkatchenko emphasized PNG's commitment to nurturing bilateral relations, emphasizing the importance of trust in fostering friendship and recognizing Indonesia as a crucial partner.

Mr. Tkatchenko played the role of host during the Jayapura meetings, expressing the National Government's gratitude for Indonesia's grant assistance, including significant contributions to the Port Moresby General Hospital Intensive Care Unit and redevelopment projects in West Sepik, among others.

Following the meetings, Ministers Tkatchenko and Masurdi presided over the official signing of two key agreements: a Framework Agreement on Development and Technical Cooperation and an Agreement for Training and Capacity Building for mid-career diplomats from Melanesian Spearhead Group countries.

The Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which has been ratified by both sides and is poised to "Enter into Force," was also highlighted. Minister Masurdi emphasized the DCA's critical role in bolstering security, particularly in light of geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Acknowledging the shared border and the need for enhanced cooperation, both Ministers affirmed their commitment to strengthening connectivity in border areas and fostering collaboration through initiatives such as the PNG-Indonesia Business Forum, Downstream Processing Cooperation, and the PNG/Indonesia Joint Task Force.

The meeting marks a significant step forward in the diplomatic relations between PNG and Indonesia, underscoring a shared commitment to mutual prosperity, security, and regional cooperation.

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