Papua New Guinean’s leader to visit Australia - after months of diplomatic tension

Papua New Guinean leader Sir Michael Somare will make an official visit to Australia next week, signalling an end to months of diplomatic tension sparked when security staff ordered him to remove his shoes as he transited through Brisbane airport last March. Papua New Guinea, Australia's nearest neighbor and former colony, froze a multimillion dollar aid package it was receiving from Australia after Prime Minister John Howard refused to apologize over the incident, saying his wife Janette always removed her shoes at Australian airports because they triggered metal detector alarms. In April, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Australian Embassy in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, and Somare's government announced no more Australian police and bureaucrats would be allowed to come to their country as part of an 800 million Australian dollar (US$609 million; 504.85 million) aid program to improve law and order,reports the AP. I.L.

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