17 Sep 2003

Australian senator hopes for progress in aid talks with PNG

7:24 am on 17 September 2003

An Australian Federal Senator says he hopes aid talks between the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments can re-establish a constructive working relationship.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will hold two days of talks from today after a planned meeting a week ago was called off by the PNG government.

The PNG Government was angry at Australia's reported demand that Australian advisors be placed in its Departments.

Meanwhile, Labour Senator Peter Cook, the chairman of a Foreign Affairs Committee which last month delivered a report critical of Australia's aid effort in PNG, says he hopes the talks can end the fractiousness.

He says the way to do this is for Australia to back off a bit.



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Senator Peter Cook.