Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Statement on departure for visit to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia

Download PDFDownload PDF

©SPAtaWMBROir ®(? Ρ®Î’@0®Îš) ( r^© N E W S R E L E A S E


M/33 18 February



The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Mr Whitlam,_ said in Canberra today that he hoped his first visits P* fit* ? to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia would serve to emphasise his

Government's commitment to the evolution of a secure, united and

friendly Papua New Guinea and to the consolidation and further

strengthening of Australia's vital relationship witl its nearest

and largest neighbour, Indonesia.

In a statement on his departure from- Australia today,

Mr Whitlam said that in Papua New Guinea he would be having talks

with the Ghief Minister, Mr Michael Somare, anr other Ministers.

He would also visit Goroka where he would have discussions with the

local council and attend the Goroka show.

Mr Whitlam said that the visit to Indonesia would be

his eighth visit to that country, although his first since becoming

Prime Minister. Mr Whitlam said that in Jakarta he was looking

forward to frank and substantive personal exchanges of views with

President Soeharto and with a number of other Ministers including

the Minister for Economy, Finance and Industry, and the Minister

for Foreign Affairs. While in,Indonesia he would also address the

Indonesian Parliament.


Mr Whitlam said that since President Soeharto had

visited Australia and his predecessor had visited Indonesia last

year, the situations in the Asian region had undergone important

changes. New Governments had come to office in Australia and

New Zealand, a ceasefire was now operating in Viet-Nam, and

active consideration was now being given to regional co-operation

by the countries of South-East Asia and by Australia and New

Zealand. Moreover, Indonesia and Australia had both recently

become members of the Security Council. .

It would therefore be timely for him to discuss with

President Soeharto and Indonesian Ministers both the new approach

of his government to international affairs and the changed

situation in the Asian region.

Mr Whitlam added that Indonesia was the fifth most

populous nation in the world and the only country with which

'Australia shared a boundary. A soundly based, close and lasting

Australian-Indonesian relationship was therefore of paramount

importance to both countries, now a^d in the future. He hoped

his visit would contribute to the strengthening of this relation­

ship. - .

Mr and Mrs Whitlam will be accompanied to Papua New

Guinea by the Minister for External Territories, Mr Morrison, and

Mrs Morrison, and to both Papua New Guinea and Indonesia by

. . . / 3


Sir Richard and lady Kirby, Miss Cathy Whitlam and Mr Bruce Grant,

and members of the Prime Minister’s personal staff.

■ Officials accompanying the Prime Minister are, from

the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Secretary,

Sir John Bunting, and Mr M.J. Wilson; and from the Department

of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Secretary, Mr K.C.O. Shann, and

Mr R. A. Woolcott. .

The Prime Minister is expected to return to Australia

on Sunday, 25 February.