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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 1) -
Regional security issues, terrorism, money laundering, people and small arms
smuggling are top of the agenda in a meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group
in Gizo, Solomon Islands.

The meeting started yesterday at the Gizo Hotel where Papua New
Guinea is represented by secretaries Gabriel Pepson (Foreign Affairs), Peter
Baki (Education) and officials from the departments of Trade and Industry, Lands
and the Internal Revenue Commission. The other MSG countries in attendance are
Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The senior government officials also discussed issues on
Bougainville, the security situation in the Solomon Islands and political
developments in New Caledonia. The meeting is the second lead-up conference to
the MSG leaders summit to be held in Honiara from August 6-7. Prime Minister Sir
Michael Somare is expected to arrive in Solomon Islands at the weekend for the

An MSG trade and economic meeting was held from July 28-29 in
Honiara— the first ever MSG meeting New Caledonia attended. At that meeting,
all the MSG trade and economic officials agreed to push for a proactive approach
to trade among member countries.

Trade and Industry Deputy Secretary Alois Tabereng said the MSG
countries would push for the inclusion of tourism and mining resources in the
trade agreement.

"We are now looking at developing the MSG trade to focus
more on issues that will facilitate trade. Apart from quarantine, customs, we
are now looking at tourism and mining. These are additional areas,’’ he

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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