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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 8, 1999 – Post Courier)---Papua New Guinea has agreed to make it easier for the entry and exit of Australian officials on cross-border patrols. This is an agreement that Australia already has in place for PNG officials.

This was one of the important decisions reached at the PNG/Australia Torres Strait Joint Advisory Council meeting held in Port Moresby last week.

Two other important matters that arose from the meeting were an agreement by PNG and Australia to work together on responses to cross border emergencies and the start of negotiations on a bilateral expedition treaty.

When addressing the media on the outcome of the Joint Advisory Council (JAC) meeting, Australian High Commissioner, Nick Warner said while the Torres Strait treaty was important it also needed nurturing and protection.

Mr. Warner described the treaty as unique in character. "I can’t think of any other treaty between two countries that is as flexible as this treaty. It is open and willing in its provisions to allow cross- border movements by traditional inhabitants,’’ he said.

He said the treaty shows the special relationship between Australia and PNG.

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

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