French President Emmanuel Macron jets into Port Moresby late tomorrow for his historic visit to Papua New Guinea and will be met by Prime Minister James Marape with a 21-gun salute and other ceremonies.
Marape yesterday expressed profound enthusiasm for the upcoming visit of President Macron — currently in New Caledonia — considering it a significant milestone in the nation’s global engagement.
President Macron’s visit marks the first time a French president has visited an independent country in the Pacific, showcasing Papua New Guinea’s growing connectivity with the world, Marape said.
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“This historic visit by President Macron exemplifies the profound connectivity that Papua New Guinea, under my leadership, is forging with the international community,” he said.
“In today’s interconnected virtual realm of commerce, real-time trade, and foreign relations, the visit by the esteemed French president bodes exceedingly well for PNG.
“We eagerly anticipate strengthening our ties with this influential G7 economy.”
This meeting follows a previous encounter between President Macron and Prime Minister Marape earlier this year in Gabon, Central Africa, during the “One-Forest” Summit.
The forthcoming visit further cements the amicable relations between the two leaders and enhances bilateral cooperation.
In recent months, the Prime Minister has had fruitful discussions with several world leaders, demonstrating PNG’s growing prominence on the global stage.
A one-day state visit of Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, resulted in tangible benefits, including the establishment of direct flights between Port Moresby and Bali.
Discussions with the President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, during the Korea-Pacific Islands Summit, fostered constructive engagements and cooperation between the nations.
Papua New Guinea also hosted leaders such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, further strengthening ties and fostering positive developments.
Leaders of all Pacific countries were also present for the visit of Prime Minister Modi.
Reflecting on these milestones, Marape expressed his commitment to advancing bilateral relations and addressing critical issues of mutual concern with visiting dignitaries.
He hailed the visit of Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, earlier this year, which marked a turning point in the relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia after 47 years of independence.
“In anticipation of President Macron’s visit, Papua New Guinea stands ready to engage in productive dialogues and explore new avenues of cooperation with France.
“The visit bears the potential to further elevate PNG’s global presence and unlock new opportunities for mutual growth and prosperity,” Marape said.
President Macron will also be visiting Vanuatu and Fiji.
Republished with permission.