The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA157 - 11 December 2003

Australia and Papua New Guinea to Work Together Against Terrorism

Australian efforts to combat terrorism throughout our region have been boosted with the signing of a counter-terrorism arrangement with Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, and I signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Counter-Terrorism at the annual Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum, held today in Adelaide.

The arrangement provides for increased cooperation in the areas of security, law enforcement, defence, customs, immigration and transport.

Importantly, it also allows for joint investigations of terrorist activities and border control issues. Joint action can also be taken to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, smuggling and the illegal trafficking in weapons and explosives.

The security of both countries will be enhanced by the resulting exchanges of information and intelligence, joint operational and training activities and capacity-building initiatives.

Our close historical ties and the extensive personal relationships between Australians and Papua New Guineans underpin a common interest in peace and stability in a region free from terrorism.

The MOU on Counter-Terrorism is a positive development in our bilateral relations and will build on the already close links between our respective operational agencies.

Australia has taken a leading role in strengthening regional capacity to fight terrorism. Counter-Terrorism MOUs previously have been signed with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Fiji, Cambodia, East Timor and India.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministers office) (02) 6277 7500 - Julie McDonald (Departmental) (02) 6261 1555

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