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Media statement from Office of the President: ABG meets with Development Partners

Establishing relations with development partners remains a priority for Bougainville to increase economic and infrastructural development in the Region. President Ishmael Toroama met with several important development partners during his first official visit to Port Moresby last week. The meeting was to strengthen relations as well as to familiarize the new President with the respective foreign missions who play an important role as Bougainville’s development partners. In meeting the head of missions in PNG, President Toroama said that these missions expressed an interest to continue to assist Bougainville. The President said that for Bougainville to establish relations with development partners it would maintain these relations through the parameters of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The focus of these relationships will be on development aid and not on furthering Bougainville’s political aspirations. President Toroama met with the US Ambassador Erin Elizabeth Mckee, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing, European Union Ambassador Ioannis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos, and the Japanese diplomatic staff as the Ambassador Kuniyuki Nakahara was in isolation. “I am more than convinced of the need for an overall aid coordination strategy within which Bougainville’s donor priorities will be articulated,” President Toroama said. “Such an aid strategy must be rooted to my six-point strategy on Bougainville’s development and political journey,” he added.

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