Pato confirms Pacific leaders attending APEC

8:29 am on 12 September 2018

Leaders of Pacific Island nations have confirmed they will be in Papua New Guinea for the November 2018 APEC Summit.

PNG's Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato, says the other Pacific countries conveyed this to him during last week's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Nauru.

Mr Pato said the invitation from the PNG government to the leaders was a further step in strengthening the bonds among the island nations who constitute the "Blue Pacific" continents.

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

He said discussions in Nauru around the Blue Pacific's ocean protection drive, and climate change, would be advanced in November's big APEC meeting.

Meanwhile, Mr Pato said the Forum leaders agreed on a constructive approach to discussions on regional concerns about Indonesian-ruled West Papua.

"One that will bring positive results for all in terms of economic and social development of those living in the border region and one that would avoid the bad outcomes that would arise from policies of confrontation and conflict."

The minister met the Interior Secretary for the United States of America, Ryan Zinke and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Matt Matthews.

"We had a very constructive breakfast meeting which was attended by Pacific leaders," Pato said.

At the Nauru summit Mr Pato said he held bilateral meetings with leaders and ministers from a wide range of countries in addition to the membership of the Forum.

They included the US, Canada, Cuba, Israel, Japan, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.