Tkatchenko: Wantok Wokabaut brings PNG and Australia ties even closer

Thursday 25 April 2024

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and his Australian Counterpart Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese’s 2-day walk on the famous Kokoda Track further cements the friendship and bilateral relations that go a long way.

Not only, are PNG and Australia close neighbours but brothers and Wantoks as described on the blue t-shirts both leaders wore on the first day of their walk 15 kilometre walk from Kokoda to Isurava with a stopover in Deniki.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko said the two Prime Ministers’ walk on the Kokoda Trail had brought the two nations even closer than ever.

Both have created history becoming the first sitting Prime Ministers to ever walk the mountainous terrains of the Own Stanley range.

Prime Minister Albanese who arrived on Monday afternoon on an official visit attended the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Marape in Parliament where he addressed the guests including state ministers, members of parliament, heads of government departments, members of the diplomatic community and other dignitaries.

He said the plan to walk the Kokoda Trek was discussed informally among friends and the timing was perfect as the two nations and New Zealand pay tribute to the fallen soldiers at the ANZAC Day Memorial Service at Isurava.

Both Prime Ministers were accorded a traditional Oro welcome at the Kokoda Station in Northern Province upon arrival on Tuesday morning.

They commenced their walk to Deniki Village, where they had overnighted, before continuing on to Isurava for the second night.

The ANZAC Day Dawn Service was  held today Thursday 25  April  at Isurava Memorial Park where they participated before returning to Port Moresby.

The leaders were accompanied by Northern Governor Gary Juffa, members of the Australian Defence Force, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the media.

Prime Minister Albanese departed for Australia the same day upon arrival from Isurava.

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