PNG SEEKS FULL MEMBERSHIP IN ASEAN

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Somare asks Philippines President to support bid

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 1, 2009) – Papua New Guinea is seeking full membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). And already Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has asked Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to support his nation’s bid for membership.

This if fulfilled would enable PNG to tap into ASEAN markets and benefit more economically. The ASEAN declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are:

According to a Malaca statement yesterday, Sir Michael sought President Arroyo’s backing during a state dinner she hosted in his honour at the resort in Boracay. "My government is seriously contemplating seeking full membership in ASEAN; therefore, I seek your government’s positive consideration and support in this regard," Sir Michael said.

"Unlike the Philippines, a full member of ASEAN, Papua New Guinea maintains a special observer status in this paramount regional organisation," he added.

The PM, who was in the Philippines for a four-day official visit, arrived there on Sunday.

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

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