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Meetings with Papua New Guinea defense officials included:
· Secretary of Defense, Hon. Hari John Akipe
· Acting Chief of Defence, Commodore Philip Polewara
· Department of Defence, First Assistant Secretary for Policy, Mr. Terry Udu
· Chief of Staff, Colonel Raphael Yapu
· Chief of Force Preparation, Colonel Craig Solomon
· Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel Jeremy Ramsden
Paparo expressed appreciation for our nations’ shared history and sacrifice, and the growing partnership between our militaries, including bilateral exercises and subject matter expert exchanges. The leaders discussed broadening naval cooperation, especially in areas of maritime security, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
In October, Papua New Guinea hosted Pacific Partnership 23 on its fourth mission stop to work together to enhance disaster response capabilities and foster new and enduring friendships.
While in Port Moresby, Paparo visited the National Museum and Art Gallery, highlighted by the opening week of the Kokoda Trail special collection, with an in-depth look at the cooperation and shared sacrifices of Papuans, Australians, and Americans during WWII.
The visit to Papua New Guinea underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening alliances and partnerships for an enduring resilient, free and open Indo-Pacific.