- by cnn
- 29 Nov 2023
Papua New Guinea (PNG) Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko said he was resigning as minister on Friday amid a controversy over the cost and size of the country's delegation to the coronation of King Charles III in London.
Tkatchenko said in a statement that he "stood aside" after consulting with Prime Minister James Marape, who would assume the portfolio. He remains in parliament.
"I want to make sure the recent events do not interfere with the official visits and summits we are going to have with all the World Leaders in the coming weeks," Tkatchenko said.
"I also want to ensure the truth of this matter is cleared and the misinformation and lies are corrected," he added.
US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are due on May 22 for what will be a historic visit.
On Wednesday, Tkachenko said Biden would sign a defense pact with PNG, which is being courted by the United States and China amid a contest for influence in the Pacific islands region. Tkachenko had been closely involved in the US negotiations.
Marape said in a statement on Friday evening he would take over supervision of preparations for the arrival of Biden, Modi and more than a dozen Pacific island leaders. He commended Tkachenko for putting the national interest first.
Premier announces changes to long-delayed projectread more