PNG PRIME MINISTER BLASTS AUSSIES AT RALLY

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SYDNEY, Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corp, April 30) - Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has accused Australia of trying to discredit him and remove his National Alliance Party from Government.

Sir Michael's speech at a political rally in the Morobe Province at the weekend was punctuated with strong anti-Australian sentiment.

He accused Australia of orchestrating the Julian Moti affair in an attempt to remove him from office when PNG voters go to the polls in July.

Sir Michael said investigation findings into the Moti escape from PNG to the Solomon Islands would not be tabled as it contained untrue information about him.

He also said he would increase the defence force to 10,000 people if he was re-elected, despite Australia financing a downsizing program that has reduced the force to 2,000 people.

ABC News Online © 2007 ABC. All Rights Reserved

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