Two new Australian diplomatic missions — the Australian Embassy in Palau and the Australian High Commission in Cook Islands — have opened their doors, according to media release from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

These missions are said to boost Australia’s diplomatic representation in the region as part of it’s Pacific Step-up program.

It also said that the missions are signs of Australia’s deepening engagement across the region and of its growing relationship with the people and governments of Palau and Cook Islands.

The purpose of these missions is work with Palau and Cook Islands promoting “economic integration and trade, build community links, and strengthen security cooperation.”

“Australia is committed to the prosperity, stability, resilience and security of the Pacific region.”

Australia has sixteen missions in the Pacific – the largest diplomatic network of any country in the region. The Australian government plans to expand its representation through missions to Niue, French Polynesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands from next year. (source: Media Releases, December 18, 2019)