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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

PNG Prime Minister brands Australian leaders as arrogant and insulting

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has lashed out at Australia's leaders, branding them arrogant and insulting ahead of today's Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

The leaders of PNG and Vanuatu yesterday joined the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, in condemning Australian police involvement in a raid on his office last week.

Prime Minister John Howard has dismissed suggestions Australia was involved in the raid.

Sir Michael says the raid was an affront to another country's sovereign rights and showed disrespect to Australia's pacific neighbours. He has also attacked a decision barring him from visiting Australia because of PNG's involvement in the Julian Moti affair.

Australia's relations with PNG and the Solomon Islands have become strained over failed attempts to extradite Moti, the Solomons attorney-general designate, on child sex charges. It's a real insult to me personally and someone who has known Australian people all these years and the working rapport and relations we have built," Sir Michael said.

"I think this is typical of the arrogant attitude of your people, your leaders treating the people of the region with contempt."

Source: ABC News Online

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