United States, Papua New Guinea sign defence agreement

The United States (US) has signed a defence cooperation agreement with Papua New Guinea (PNG) with the focus on expansion of the Pacific Island nation’s capabilities and making it easier for the US military to train with its forces.

The defence cooperation was drafted by the United States and Papua New Guinea as equals and sovereign partners.

Further, it will expand PNG defence capabilities to enhance humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and make it easy for United States and PNG forces to train together,

Notably, the defence agreement was an extension of an existing agreement.

Also, the United States will provide $45 million in new funds as it worked with PNG to strengthen economic and security cooperation, including protective equipment for the PNG defence force, climate change mitigation and tackling transnational crime and HIV/AIDS.

Understandably, the United States and its allies are seeking to deter Pacific Island nations from forming security ties with China, a rising concern amid tension over Taiwan.