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Melanesian neighbors to discuss mutual interests

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Oct. 21, 2010) – Solomon Islands will host the 4th Solomon Islands / Papua New Guinea Joint Border Committee and the 9th Solomon Islands / Papua New Guinea Senior Officials Bilateral Consultation in Gizo next week.

[PIR editor’s note: The Solomon Islands/Papua New Guinea (PNG) Joint Border Committee is responsible for implementing guidelines under the Agreement between Bougainville in PNG and Solomon Islands over the Border Area (that includes land, sea, airspace, sea bed and sub soil) that exist between the two countries. Gizo is the capital of Western Province and the second largest town in the Solomon Islands with an estimated population of 6,200 people.]

The 4th Joint Border Meeting will be held on Monday and Tuesday and the Senior Officials Bilateral Consultations on Thursday and Friday.

The gatherings are annual meetings which bring together various Government officials and Law Enforcement Agencies to discuss issues of concern affecting the two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade confirmed that the arrangements are now in place for the meetings and Solomon Islands are looking forward to receiving Papua New Guinea delegation for the meetings.

The Joint Border Committee will review the cooperative efforts of the two countries in managing their common border and also to look at mechanisms and arrangement in strengthening the border cooperation.

The Senior Official Bilateral Consultation will discuss a wide range of bilateral issues between PNG and Solomon Islands, including treaty agreement and arrangements, development cooperation, education, trade, aviation, environment, agriculture and quarantine, investment, political and security, social, culture and other relevant issues.

The PNG delegation is expected to arrive in the country this Friday.

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