2 Jul 2004

PNG foreign minister says Australia aid deal should touch up image abroad

10:44 am on 2 July 2004

The Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu says the Enhanced Co-operation Programme signed this week, with Australia should improve PNG's international image.

The aid deal, worth US$630 million over five years, will see up to 300 Australian police and public officials deployed to PNG to strengthen the police force, and help the government with finance, justice, and border security.

The police are struggling to cope with law and order problems.

Last month the New Zealand Government warned of an increased threat of violence and criminality in PNG.

Sir Rabbie Namaliu acknowledges the country's image is harmed by the lawlessness.

"And unless we take the bull by the horns, and run with it, in the way that we're now going to do, with this package, that image will continue to persist. So it will go a long way to helping us improve our international image, and the perception of this country abroad."