Australia’s Foreign Minister Marisa Payne said her visit to Palau is to advance” an open, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

Payne will be here from Dec. 2 to 4 and in her speech, she said she will also formally open Australia’s Embassy in Palau.

In a statement, Min. Payne said her visit build upon her recent in-person visits to partners in the Indo-Pacific region and virtual engagements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the Pacific Step-up, we are working more closely with Palau and other Pacific partners to address regional challenges, including the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, maritime security, and climate change,” Minister Payne in a statement. 

“We share strong interests in protecting our oceans and deepening cooperation under Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, which included the handover of a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat, the PSS Remeliik II, to Palau last year.”

The Minister will also be attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a landing station for the island’s second internet cable which is jointly funded by Australia, Palau, Japan, and the United States.

Minister Payne said the second submarine cable “will strengthen vital digital connectivity in the region and support economic growth and improved service delivery.”

She will also meet with the Palau women leaders to discuss the Pacific Women Lead program and other opportunities for promoting women’s empowerment.

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