By Bernadette H. Carreon
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will visit Palau for two days in June, according to the Australian Embassy in Pohnpei.
Australian Ambassador to Palau George Fraser said that Minister Bishop would be accompanied by Sen Penny Wong, Minister and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Senator Claire Moore.
The scheduled trip of the delegation is on June 3 and 4.
This is the first time Bishop will be visiting Palau, she will be also visiting Pohnpei, Ebeye and Majuro.
Minister Bishop is expected to meet Palau officials to discuss shared regional issues with Palau.
Australia’s provides aid program to the North Pacific that include climate change mitigation, and strengthen governance and accountability, among others.
Australia is also lobbying for Pacific island nations to signed the trade agreement, Pacer-Plus.
PACER-Plus has been signed by Australia, New Zealand and nine Forum Island Countries. Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia have not signed.
This is the second visit of International Development Minister Fierravanti-Wells in Palau.
She represented Australia in the recent Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in April.
In January Minister Fierravanti-Wells accused China of financing “useless buildings” and “roads to nowhere” in the Pacific.