US President Joe Biden looks on during a state visit welcoming ceremony for South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 26, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
SYDNEY – US President Joe Biden will briefly visit Papua New Guinea on May 22, officials from the Pacific island nation said on Thursday.
The Biden stopover would be the first visit by a sitting US president to the resource-rich country of 9.4 million people just north of Australia.
Biden will stop in the capital Port Moresby for three hours on his way to Australia to attend the Quad leaders summit, a spokesperson from the PNG Prime Minister's office told Reuters.
Fourteen Pacific island leaders will meet in Port Moresby on May 22 with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and planning for Biden to also meet the region's leaders during his visit was underway but not confirmed, a spokesperson for PNG Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko said
A Pacific islands source told Reuters that Biden was also expected to meet with more than a dozen Pacific islands leaders during his May visit.
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Fourteen Pacific island leaders will meet in Port Moresby on May 22 with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and planning for Biden to also meet the region's leaders during his visit was underway but not confirmed, a spokesperson for PNG Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko said.
Modi arrives in PNG on May 21 for a two-day visit en-route to Australia, the island nation's government has previously announced.
The US embassy in Canberra referred questions to the White House. The White House National Security Council did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
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White House officials have been considering tagging on a Pacific islands stop to Biden's travel to the G7 in Japan and the Quad meeting in Australia, according to a person familiar with the matter.