Members of the delegations from Australia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau pose for a group photo on the opening day of the Australia-North Pacific Senior Officials’ Talks held here in Palau earlier this week. (Contributed Photo)

Senior officials from Australia and North Pacific island nations namely the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau had held a meeting in the latter to discuss national development priorities and some regional issues.

The two-day dialogue, which kicked off on July 2, revolved around the discussion on cooperation and information sharing on a wide range of topics such as Foreign and Trade Policy, Regional Security Cooperation, and Development Cooperation, among others, according to a press statement sent to the media.

“An action matrix will be finalized detailing needed follow-up actions and consultations,” the press statement read, adding that bilateral meetings where conducted by Australia with each nation.

Australian Ambassador George Fraser said in an interview that they had discussed with each nation their priorities for national development.

Fraser said that the meeting was an indication of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pronouncement that their country is going to step up its presence in the Pacific.  (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)