Papua New Guinea (PNG) will go through with the signing agreement of the Defence Cooperation with the United States of America despite concerns from public and concerned professionals about its implications to the country.
Prime Minister James Marape in a press conference just before the official opening dinner of the Forum of India and Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC), made it known again that there is no reason to be skeptical as the agreement does not breach any of the provisions in the country’s constitution.
In fact, Marape clarified that there won’t be any immunity given to US troops and contractors on PNG soil.
“Any engaged US military personnel are subject to same investigation and prosecution as any PNG soldier, PNG contractor for that matter.”
He said the agreement would create better defence relationship with PNG and the US.
“It establishes greater colleboration with United States of America, it deals more directly with the Pantagon and Murray Barracks, between Waigani and Washington.”
Marape further said that this security agreement has nothing to do with the geopolitical interests.
All in all, he stressed that this is all about the country’s security in terms of it’s sea and land borders and the threat of transnational crimes.
He also said that the agreement once signed, will be for a period of 15 years and is subject to termination should there be implications to the country’s sovereignty or laws.
Meanwhile, the Defence Cooperation is expected to be signed today between PM Marape and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during FIPIC.