Australia opens diplomatic missions in Marshall Islands, French Polynesia

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday May 5, 2021

airforce-marshall islands
Leading Aircraftwoman Jacqueline Forrester looks into the night sky during an overnight static guard, Marshall Islands International Airport, Republic of the Marshall Islands. (Image: Defence)

Australia has this week opened two new diplomatic missions in the Pacific, meaning it now has the largest diplomatic network in the region of any country.

The establishment of the missions in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and French Polynesia brings Australia’s diplomatic network in the Pacific to 19 missions.

The two new missions also mean that Australia has official representation to every member of the Pacific Islands Forum, which fulfils a commitment of the Pacific Step-up.

In a joint statement on Tuesday,  foreign affairs minister Marise Payne and minister for international development and the Pacific Zed Seselja said the new missions build on the opening of diplomatic missions in Tuvalu in 2018, the Cook Islands and Palau in 2019, and Niue in 2020.

“The Australian Embassy to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Consulate-General in French Polynesia are now working to support Australia’s interests and increased engagement in our neighbourhood,” they said.

“We continue to strengthen our cooperation in areas such as maritime security, infrastructure, climate change and women’s empowerment, as well as our support for the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting the region’s economic recovery. Australia is committed to continuing to work closely with our Pacific partners for a region that is prosperous and secure.”

READ MORE: Despite its Pacific ‘step-up’, Australia is still not listening to the region, new research shows


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