Joint statement: Australia-Nauru cooperation on critical transport infrastructure

  • Joint media statement with:

HE Lionel Rouwen Aingimea MP, President of the Republic of Nauru

28 February 2022

Today the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne and the President of Nauru Lionel Rouwen Aingimea met in Sydney to discuss further steps to deepen the close and enduring bilateral partnership between our two countries, and our shared commitment to strong and unified regional institutions.

Both leaders committed to working together to upgrade Nauru’s international airport, to strengthen Nauru’s connectivity, safety and security.

Minister Payne announced Australia would provide a $40 million grant finance package, including $30 million through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP). This investment is a practical demonstration of Australia’s commitment to supporting critical infrastructure in our region, in response to the priorities of Australia’s Pacific partners.

Australia’s funding will support the re-surfacing of Nauru’s runway and the provision of vital air traffic equipment to enable critical air transport services for decades to come. The funding will also enable climate-resilient upgrades to sections of the Nauru ring road. The project will employ Nauruan workers and use local materials where possible, to help stimulate Nauru’s economy.

Today’s commitment builds on the joint announcement on 12 December 2021 of the partnership between Nauru, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Australia, Japan and the United States to build the East Micronesia Cable, which will provide Nauru with internet connectivity through a submarine cable for the first time.

President Aingimea and Minister Payne discussed Australia’s support for Nauru’s COVID-19 response. They shared concerns about enduring and emerging international security threats, including deep concerns about Russia’s unprovoked and unacceptable aggression towards Ukraine. They reaffirmed both countries’ support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Minister Payne also extended congratulations to President Aingimea in advance of the formal opening of the new Nauru High Commission in Canberra.

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