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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 2) – Papua New Guinea is an easy target for gunrunning, money laundering, people and drug trafficking and terrorism, said Foreign Affairs Minister Rabbie Namaliu.

"Any terrorist intrusion in PNG would have serious regional consequences, as well as our own national stability and security," he said before leaving for a regional meeting on counter-terrorism in Bali, Indonesia.

Namaliu said PNG must be honest and realistic about its inadequacy in addressing the rise in terrorism and the increasing level of illegal border crossing by refugees and people with criminal intentions.

"We must better monitor arrivals and departures on international aircraft and vessels, but we are going to have to seriously consider options for coastal and border surveillance, drawing on the resources of our own people and communities," Sir Rabbie said.

Priority had to be given to counter-terrorism measures at airports and seaports but the need to prevent illegal entry through other means could not be ignored.

Reducing crime and lawlessness in communities is important for national security, which was why enhanced co-operation with Australia was important.

Sir Rabbie said, "We have to do more within our limited resources to minimize the threats but we are going to need significant assistance to achieve anywhere the level of counter terrorism strategies and systems we need." 

He said he plans to emphasize at the meeting PNG’s need for international help, particularly with state-of-the-art counter terrorism measures.

February 3, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/


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