Biden to visit PNG on May 22, says PM Marape

Australia, U.S, Japan and India at the first QUAD leaders’ summit.

United States President Joe Biden will visit Papua New Guinea on 22 May, says Prime Minister James Marape.

Biden will have a meeting with Marape during his three-hour stop-over in Port Moresby.

Marape did not say what issues they would discuss.

Marape said Biden would also meet the 18 leaders of the Pacific Island Forum who will be in Port Moresby on 22 May for the India-Pacific Islands Cooperation forum.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be in the country at that time.

“Papua New Guinea is ready to receive both President Biden and Prime Minister Modi,” Marape said.

He said PNG and the Pacific must no longer be ignored.

“With our combined forest and sea areas, we have the world’s greatest carbon sink, and the biggest sea and air space,” he said.

“We also face the greatest threat to our existence as climate change affects our lifestyles and our economies.

“I have had the privilege of one-on-one meetings with President Biden in New York and Washington, and on both occasions, I invited him to visit PNG.

“I am honoured that he has fulfilled his promise to visit our country.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko said Biden would be at the Apec Haus for three hours where he would meet the Pacific Island leaders.

Then he will have bilateral meetings and make some important announcements as part of his visit.

“From there, he will travel to Australia where he will have meetings with the leaders from India, Japan, and Australia,” he said.

It’s a first for a president of the United States, to visit a Pacific Island country. “It will play an important role in strengthening the bilateral and diplomatic relationships with the United States and strengthen the Pacific,” he said.