19 Oct 2004

PNG and NZ foreign ministers discuss security

4:23 pm on 19 October 2004

Regional security will be a key issued during discussions this afternoon between the Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu and his New Zealand counterpart, Phil Goff.

Sir Rabbie has been in New Zealand since Sunday.

Talks this afternoon at Parliament will cover counter terrorism measures, trans-national crime, the Bougainville peace mission and the intervention in Solomon Islands.

Mr Goff told Parliament that they will also discuss the threat of HIV/Aids to PNG which he says, according to World Health Organisation figures, is affecting one to two percent of the population.

"The threat of a serious epidemic is real and present. The Papua New Guinea Government is showing leadership in this area and working with international organisations involved in preventative measures and New Zealand is providing support for that process."

Mr Goff says the subject of the neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua is not on the agenda, but he is expecting to discuss issues in the wider region with Sir Rabbie.