May 22. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, has assured this Monday that the recently renewed agreement adopted by the United States and Papua New Guinea will not militarize the Indo-Pacific region.
“New Zealand does not support the militarization of the Pacific. That said, a military presence does not necessarily mean militarization,” the New Zealand prime minister said at a press conference from Papua New Guinea, where he met his Papuan counterpart, James Marape. , in the framework of the US-Pacific summit.
For Hipkins, the pact is an extension of the existing relations between the two countries, so it is not limited to security issues, but development and bilateral ties. However, he has indicated that he is not going to judge the deal, as “ultimately they have the right to have their own deals.”
“We don’t come here to tell them what to do or what to think, we come here to engage them in a discussion acknowledging that our brothers and sisters in the Pacific have the right to chart their own path,” he explained.
Thus, he explained that New Zealand “has a military presence in the Pacific on a regular basis after natural disasters”, since they send military assets to support the affected countries: “We should not assume that all military associations necessarily have to do with the conflict”, he stressed.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, will sign a defense cooperation agreement that will help improve the capacity of the Papuan defense forces and “increase the stability and security of the region,” according to a statement from the Department.
This measure is a new step in the tensions between the United States and China, this time in the region, after Beijing signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands in April 2022, which was viewed with suspicion by both neighboring Australia and by the US authorities, who indicated that it could increase “destabilization” in the country and set “a precedent” in the region.