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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Sept. 3) - Senior
officials of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands began meetings in Honiara,
Solomon Islands, on Monday.

Top on the agenda was monitoring the movement of people and
cargo between Solomon Islands and Bougainville.

Leading the PNG delegation is Foreign Secretary, Gabriel Pepson
assisted by Director International Relations, Jackson Yuasise and national
security officers.

The meeting was agreed to by the Prime Ministers and Foreign
Affairs Ministers of both countries during the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group
meeting in Solomon Islands.

They decided in the meetings that officials of both countries
follow-up on pertinent issues of bilateral interests.

PNG Foreign Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu said that apart from
trade and economic issues, technical cooperation, the main focus of the meeting
would discuss border management.

Officers will be discussing means and ways of effectively
monitor and manage activities, including movement of people and goods, along the
common maritime border, a concern that was raised at the MSG meeting.

The last such meeting between the two countries was held in Port
Moresby in 1999.

Solomon Islands could not host the corresponding meeting in 2000
due to the ethnic crisis in that country at that time.

The current round of talks will end tomorrow. 

September 3, 2003

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