1 Apr 2009

PNG lines up for ASEAN membership

4:10 pm on 1 April 2009

Papua's New Guinea Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has asked the Philippines President to support his nation's bid for membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

GMA-dot-NEWS-dot-TV says Sir Michael sought President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's backing during a state dinner she hosted in his honour.

Sir Michael told the gathering that his government is contemplating seeking full ASEAN membership.

He added that unlike the Philippines, a full member of ASEAN, Papua New Guinea maintains a special observer status in the regional organisation.

Sir Michael has been the Philippines on an official visit and is due to leave the country tomorrow.

He has pointed out that Papua New Guinea is ready and able to fulfill the requirements of membership in the regional grouping.