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PNG PM sign deal with Israel for defence, security boost
1:48 pm GMT+12, 17/10/2013, Israel

Israel has signalled its willingness to help Papua New Guinea with defence, security and intelligence capabilities.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during a meeting in Jerusalem that Israel had long-established capabilities in these areas.
 
“Israel is willing to deploy an inter-departmental delegation from Israel to PNG to discuss these matters and offer the relevant assistance specifically for defence, security and intelligence training and capacity building and for farming and irrigation,” Netanyahu said.
 
Before the meeting, O’Neill and Netanyahu signed a joint declaration of cooperation which will serve as the umbrella agreement to manage all aspects of existing relations.
 
Netanyahu and Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato also concluded an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic services, official and ordinary passports.
 
In terms of the proposed establishment of a PNG diplomatic mission in Israel, Netanyahu was quick to respond, saying: “Oh yeah, if you want to, I can give you the real estate in Israel now”.
 
Both prime ministers agreed that discussion should commence immediately to establish a PNG diplomatic presence in Tel Aviv – the economic capital of Israel.
 
Netanyahu also accepted an invitation to visit PNG in the next few months.
 
O’Neill told Netanyahu his two-day visit, the first to Israel by a prime minister of PNG, was to reactivate and give practical meaning to overall relations between the two countries.
 
“Israel being a nation established in 1948 had gone through a very difficult period towards achieving nationhood,” O’Neill said.
 
“The Jewish people despite these adversities had transformed their economy from an agro-based society to a high-tech industry-based economy.”
 
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill planted an olive tree to mark his visit to Israel’s Memorial of the Holocaust in Jerusalem.
 
The planting ceremony was performed at the Grove of Nations near the memorial as O’Neill and the PNG delegation moved into the second, and final day, of his state visit.
 
The memorial commemorates the events that unfolded in Nazi concentration camps in World War II.
 
O’Neill said it had been a dark and sorrowful time for the Jews after he laid a wreath to extend Papua New Guinea’s sincere condolences to the six million Jewish men, women and children who died in the Holocaust.  
 
“It is saddening and shocking to gather what kind of cruelty and inhumane experiences these innocent Jews had to go through,” O’Neill said.
 
Before laying the wreath he also added some fuel to the eternal flame signifying that those who passed on during that horrific era would forever be remembered.
 
Planting an olive tree which symbolises peace, humanity and goodness is routine after walking through the memorial.
 
Other world leaders have also planted trees and O’Neill was the 65th leader of a country to do so.

SOURCE" THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS


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