“This is an important opportunity to reaffirm and further strengthen the friendly and cooperative ties with Papua New Guinea,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.
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Papua New Guinea PM in Philippines for official visit
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang expressed confidence yesterday that the three-day official of visit of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill starting yesterday to May 17 will bolster diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“This is an important opportunity to reaffirm and further strengthen the friendly and cooperative ties with Papua New Guinea,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

O’Neill arrived at 4:11 p.m. at the Villamor Airbase and was welcomed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto, Pasay Rep. Emi Calixto-Rubiano and Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by PNG Minister of Finance James Marape and Christopher Hawkins, chief executive officer of the Papua New Guinea Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Authority.

Papua New Guinea is this year’s chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Duterte and O’Neill met last year at the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. 

“With other similar histories and shared aspirations for greater peace, progress and prosperity for our peoples and region, the Philippines stands ready to work with Papua New Guinea for the mutual benefit and sustainable and inclusive growth of our nations,” Roque added. 

At 10 a.m. today, the Prime Minister will lay a wreath at the Rizal Park. 

President Duterte will formally welcome O’Neill at the Palace grounds at 5 p.m., followed by the signing of the guest book and the restricted and bilateral meetings between the two leaders. They are expected to issue a joint statement later.

Duterte will host a state banquet in honor of the Prime Minister tonight at Malacañang.

O’Neill will also visit the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. He will then proceed to Japan.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA PETER O’NEILL
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