SKATE INVITES CLINTON TO VISIT PNG

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 22, 1998 - The National)--- Prime Minister Bill Skate has invited U.S. President Bill Clinton to stop over in PNG on his way to the APEC summit next year.

Mr. Skate issued the invitation during a meeting in Washington with Stanley Roth, the deputy to Secretary of State Madeline Albright, on Friday.

Mr. Roth paid a courtesy call on Mr. Skate at his hotel and apologized for Secretary Albright, who he said was unable to meet him.

During the discussions, the Prime Minister and Mr. Roth discussed Mr. Skate's meeting with President Bill Clinton in November last year and Mrs. Albright's visit to Papua New Guinea this year.

Mr. Roth expressed Mrs. Albright's appreciation for the welcome she received in Port Moresby.

The Prime Minister has invited Mrs. Albright to visit again.

Mr. Roth praised Mr. Skate for his leadership in the Bougainville peace process.

Mr. Skate said it was the people of Bougainville who had opted for peace, and that as Prime Minister his role was to approach the crisis with patience and an open mind.

Mr. Skate said the peace process had to be determined by Bougainvilleans.

The Prime Minister thanked the U.S. government for its aid during the recent natural disasters, including the Rabaul volcanic eruption, the drought and the Aitape tidal wave disaster.

Referring to the law and order issue, Mr. Skate said he believed that Papua New Guinea could learn a great deal from the US.

The Prime Minister also expressed the views of Papua New Guinea and other nations in the region on the issue of climate change and global warming.

Mr. Roth acknowledged and welcomed Papua New Guinea's lead role in taking a strong stand on these environmental issues.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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