Australia to seek clarification on visa issue

Julie Bishop
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop. Image via www.theaustalian.com.au
Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, will be seeking clarification on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government’s plan to ban visa on arrival for her citizens, according to The National.

PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, confirmed this week that the National Executive Council (NEC) had approved the move last week. He, however, denied it was discrimination against Australians.

O’Neil said Australians will have to get a visa before arrival except for those travelling by boat to ports like Kokopo or Tabubil.

He further added that PNG had the same arrangements with other countries and similar arrangements would be made with other world partners. He called it “reciprocal rights.”

Wantok Nius reported rumors on social media that the move could take effect as early as January 20. However, this did not eventuate and reports indicate it will come into force after the Chief Immigration Officer signs it.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said Bishop would be seeking clarification on the issue on her next visit.

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