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Australia PM to visit PNG for wartime commemoration

GreenWatch Desk Diplomacy 2024-04-20, 1:24pm

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Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will fly to Papua New Guinea on Monday for joint war commemorations, his office said, arriving on the heels of a weekend visit by China's foreign minister.

Albanese's outreach comes at a time of heightened rivalry between Western powers and China in the region, each seeking to strengthen ties with strategically important, often resource-rich South Pacific island nations.
The Australian leader starts his four-day trip to Papua New Guinea just a day after China's top diplomat Wang Yi flies out following a weekend visit featuring talks in Port Moresby on Saturday with Prime Minister James Marape, reports BSS.
Albanese plans to spend two days walking with Marape along part of the Kokoda Track, which traces the site of a bloody World War II campaign fought between Japanese forces and Australian troops, who were supported by Papua New Guinean infantry.
"Kokoda is a name that lives in Australian legend. It captures the spirit of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice forged between Australia and Papua New Guinea during World War II," the Australian prime minister said in a statement on Saturday.
Albanese is also to join an Anzac Day dawn service on Thursday, honouring those killed in an ill-fated World War I landing of Australia and New Zealand Army Corps troops at Gallipoli, in what is now Turkey, in 1915.