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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 15, 1997 - PACNEWS)--- Papua New Guinea is intensifying efforts to become a permanent Associate Member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN.

Governor-General Sir Wiwa Korowi, while accepting letters of credence from the new Indonesian Ambassador to PNG, Major-General Benny Madana, on Tuesday made a special request for Indonesia to assist PNG achieve Associate Member status.

Sir Wiwa's request follows a similar call by Foreign Minister Kilroy Genia at the 29th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Jarkata last July.

PNG currently participates in ASEAN affairs as a special observer.

Sir Wiwa says PNG places considerable emphasis on its relations with ASEAN because the association is increasingly becoming an invaluable forum for countries to promote their political and economic interests. He says PNG is fully committed to becoming an active participant in the association, as it already is in APEC, when full Associate Member status is granted.

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