Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) :, Apr. 29 (ANI): India and Papua New Guinea have agreed to establish a mechanism for regular consultations between the Foreign Ministries of both countries aimed at diversifying and further strengthening bilateral cooperation in areas of shared interest.
“In order to promote greater mutual understanding and to strengthen people-to-people contacts, and India has extended visa-on-arrival facility for the nationals of all Pacific Island Countries with effect from 2015. In a gesture of reciprocity, the Government of Papua New Guinea announced the facility of visa on arrival for Indian tourists travelling to Papua New Guinea,” said a joint statement issued after the talks between President Pranab Mukherjee and Governor General of Papua New Guinea Sir Michael Ogio.
“Both leaders also witnessed signing of the Memorandums of Understanding on Agriculture Research Cooperation between University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research,” the joint statement adds.
The two sides finalised and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for broad ranging cooperation in the Health sector.
“An MOU for an Indian line of credit of US$ 100 million for development of infrastructure in PNG was also signed during the visit,” the joint statement said.
Both leaders welcomed the signing of another MoU under which India will set up a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Papua New Guinea.
President Mukherjee announced that the Indian Government would provide retro-viral drugs and equipment for the treatment of 20,000 HIV patients in Papua New Guinea for one year.
In response to this gesture of goodwill, the Governor General thanked President Mukherjee on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea.
Both leaders agreed that the Forum for India and Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit has been highly successful in strengthening the interaction between India and the Pacific region. They welcomed the new initiatives and expressed satisfaction at the progress so far.
Both sides discussed bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime security.
“Papua New Guinea welcomed India’s offer of a coastal surveillance radar system and coast guard patrol vessels,” the joint statement said.
Both sides further agreed to promote bilateral collaboration in disaster management.
“In this regard, both leaders noted the endorsement by the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warnings Systems (RIMES) Council in July 2015 of the establishment of the RIMES Sub-Regional Hub for monitoring earthquake/tsunami and extreme weather patterns and climatic conditions in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Region in Papua New Guinea with support from the Government of India,” the joint statement said. (ANI)