NEWS

Concerns In Papua New Guinea Over Framing Of US Security Pact

There are concerns in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that the country will be dragged into the militarisation of the Pacific if it signs a security pact with the United States.
17 May 2023 18:15
Concerns In Papua New Guinea Over Framing Of US Security Pact
America is poised to sign a deal with Papua New Guinea which would give US armed forces uninhibited access to PNG’s territorial waters and airspace. Photo: RNZ

There are concerns in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that the country will be dragged into the militarisation of the Pacific if it signs a security pact with the United States.

America is poised to sign a deal with PNG which would give US armed forces uninhibited access to PNG’s territorial waters and air­space.

RNZ Pacific has seen a draft copy of an agreement that will be signed off when US President Joe Biden makes a historic visit to PNG next week on Monday.

The document outlines the terms and conditions for preferential ac­cess to various PNG sea and air­ports.

“Aircraft, vehicles, and vessls op­erated by or on behlaf of US forces, may enter, exit, and move freely within the territory and territorial waters of Papua New Guinea with respect for the relevant rules of air, land, and maritime safety move­ment. Such aircraft, vehicles, and vessels shall be free from boarding and inspection without the consent of the US. Papua New Guinean au­thorities may grant blanket clear­ance for such aircraft, vehicles, and vessels in accordance with mutu­ally agreed procedures,” article 10 of the draft pact states.

The Papua New Guinea facilities the US is seeking access to include Lae Nadzab Airport, Lae Seaport, Lombrum Naval Base, Momote Air­port on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands, Jackson Inter­national Airport in the capital and the Port Moresby Seaport.

“Such Agreed Facilities and Areas may be used for mutually agreed activities including: visits; train­ing; excercises, maneuvers; tran­sit; support and related activities; refueling of aircraft; landing and recovery of aircraft; including air­craft that may conduct intelligence, surveillance and recconnaissance activities.”

It adds: “bunkering of vessels; maintance of vehicles, vessels, and aircraft; accommodation of person­nel; communications; staging and deployng of forces and material; prepositioning of equipment, sup­pliues, and material; security as­sistance and cooperation activities; joint and combined training activi­ties; humanitarian and disaster re­lief; contingency operations; and other activities mutually agreed by the Parties of their Executive Agents.

 

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Source: RNZ Pacific

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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