So close, but so far apart: only a few kilometres separate Papua New Guinea and Australia at the Torres Strait – but the coronavirus pandemic has made that close geography seem a world away.
Travel between the two countries requires a substantial amount of time in quarantine and that has put business, tourism, education and the diplomatic relationship under pressure. While Australia is dealing with a pandemic flare-up, PNG tentatively hopes it has escaped the worst from the virus for now.
Minds are now turning to what happens next: when relations can return to normal, what will have changed in the PNG-Australia relationship? What should be the priorities for two countries that share geography, history and economic interests?
Lowy Institute Non-Resident Fellow Annmaree O’Keeffe will host this discussion with former Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Australia Sir Charles Lepani and former Australian High Commissioner to PNG Ian Kemish.