NEW ZEALAND CANCELS PNG VISIT OVER INSTABILITY

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Government under acting leader Abal in uproar

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 10, 2011) – The political uncertainty in Papua New Guinea has prompted the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, to cancel next week’s planned visit to Port Moresby.

PNG’s acting prime minister, Sam Abal, sacked the foreign minister, Don Polye, for alleged insubordination at the beginning of the week and has not named a replacement yet.

Mr McCully was due to arrive in PNG on Thursday at the end of a three-nation Melanesian tour, which will include stops in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

His delegation will include officials, NGO delegates and representatives of businesses using the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which has been sourcing workers from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

The New Zealand foreign ministry is now considering a stop-over in New Caledonia where the Congress is today due to elect a new government.

Last December, a New Caledonian government delegation deferred a visit to New Zealand because of the death of the New Caledonian veteran politician, Jacques Lafleur.

The rescheduled visit was called off after the collapse of the government led by Philippe Gomes.

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