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Papua New Guinea

US vice-president to fly-in, fly-out

UNITED States vice-president Mike Pence will stay in Australia for the duration of the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November.

He would be shuttling each day between the Far North Queensland city of Cairns and Port Moresby between November 12 and 18.

The fly in-fly out arrangement was revealed in Australia at the weekend.

Flying time between the two cities is about one-and-a-half hours. The two main days of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit are Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, when many day-to-day business operations, jobs and schools in Port Moresby are closed.

On top of that, November 15 and 16 have been declared public holidays when most of the leaders would arrive and be accommodated here.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that in mid-November Australia’s top end would be the stopover point for regional leaders straddling two major meetings, the East Asia Summit in Singapore and the APEC gathering in Port Moresby a few days later.

The ABC said that during the brief period between the two summits, Vice-President Pence will stay in Cairns, at the same time that Australian Prime Minister Mr Scott Morrison hosts his Japanese counterpart in Darwin.

According to the broadcaster, Mr Shinzo Abe is scheduled to be welcomed to the Northern Territory capital by Mr Morrison in November, before both men fly to Port Moresby for the APEC meeting.

“Mr Pence, who met with Mr Turnbull during a visit to Sydney in 2017, is expected to fly into the APEC summit each day from northern Queensland rather than staying overnight in Port Moresby.

“Preparations for the massive security and logistical operation to accommodate the Vice-President and his large entourage in north Queensland are well advanced, but it is still not clear which members of the Morrison Government will meet with him while he is in Australia.

“The Australian government has so far declined to comment on the impending foreign visits,” ABC reported.

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