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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Meetings With Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister and Defence Council

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout: 
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape to discuss the strength of the bilateral relationship and security issues of mutual concern.  Secretary Austin also met with Minister for Defence Win Bakri Daki, Secretary for Defence Hari John Akipe, and Chief of Defence Force Major General Mark Goina (the "PNG Defence Council"), to discuss areas of bilateral importance including the recently signed U.S.-Papua New Guinea Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) and increased exercise cooperation between the United States and Papua New Guinea, as well as the Agreement Concerning Counter Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity Operations, or "shiprider agreement."
During the meetings with Prime Minister Marape and the PNG Defence Council, Secretary Austin noted the bilateral efforts to bolster security cooperation and address shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.  
The leaders had a productive exchange of views on efforts to build capacity to provide humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, improve maritime domain awareness, combat climate change, and address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the region, including through the upcoming visit of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to Papua New Guinea as part of the shiprider agreement.  
Secretary Austin also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Marape and the PNG Defence Council for their support of the DCA and underscored his commitment to implementing the agreement after completion of the ratification process by the PNG government.  
Secretary Austin and all four PNG leaders agreed on the importance of continuing to deepen U.S. and Papua New Guinea defense ties to increase stability and security in the region.