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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Vanuatu, PNG Hold Reconciliation At MSG Celebrations
Ceremony comes after tensions over minister’s flight to PNG

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 29, 2013) – Vanuatu’s government has performed a custom reconciliation with Papua New Guinea over the recent controversial visit of its foreign minister, Alfred Carlot, to Port Moresby.

The PNG government was last week forced to defend itself over its alleged involvement with Mr. Carlot and two Vanuatu diplomatic representatives while they were briefly in the country, reportedly without the Vanuatu government’s knowledge.

The diplomatic passport holders, who are allegedly wanted by Interpol on charges of drugs and arms smuggling, arrived without proper flight clearance on a private plane.

Mr. Carlot’s claims that he was invited by PNG’s government were rejected by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

At an official reception for the Melanesian Spearhead Group’s (MSG) 25th anniversary celebrations in Port Vila, Vanuatu’s deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini apologized to his PNG counterpart Leo Dion for the controversy.

Leo Dion said that Mr. O’Neill preferred not to attend the MSG celebration following the issue of Mr. Carlot’s visit.

Radio New Zealand International:
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