AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTERS TO PNG

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By Winis Map, from The National

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 12, 1997 - Niuswire/PNG)---The Foreign Ministers of Australia and New Zealand will visit Papua New Guinea later this month to discuss their countries' relations with the new government of Prime Minister Bill Skate, according to The National newspaper in Port Moresby.

PNG Foreign Affairs Minister Kilroy Genia said the discussions with Australia's Alexander Downer will focus on possible changes to existing cooperative defense programs.

An independent report commissioned by the previous PNG government of Sir Julius Chan recommended that Australia reduce the size of its military contingent in Papua New Guinea and that new administrative arrangements be concluded to coordinate and manage Australian military aid to PNG.

Meantime, New Zealand Prime Minister Don McKinnon's visit to Papua New Guinea is expected to focus on further New Zealand support for resolution of the nine-year civil insurrection in Bougainville.

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