Papua New Guinea PM fumes over Biden's ‘cannibals’ remark as he meets Chinese FM: ‘It's time for US to…'

Author:Shweta Kukreti 2024-04-22 20:50 13

Hitting back at Joe Biden over controversial "cannibals" remark, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape on Monday asserted his country “does not deserve to be labeled as such” and appealed to the US President to clean up the remnants of World War II that are scattered over the Pacific.

Hitting back at Joe Biden over controversial "cannibals" remark, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape asserted his country “does not deserve to be labeled as such”.(AP )

Last week at the Pennsylvania war memorial, Biden stated that his uncle Ambrose Finnegan was shot down over the country in the Pacific during World War II and implied that "there were a lot of cannibals" in the area, which is why his body was never located.

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“They never found the body because there used to be — there were a lot of cannibals for real in that part of New Guinea,” the POTUS said.

In a statement provided to Associated Press, Marape acknowledged that Biden’s remarks “may have been a slip of the tongue,” adding that “World War II was not the doing of my people; however, they were needlessly dragged into a conflict that was not their doing.”

Citing Biden’s controversial comments, the PNG PM said that it is time for the United States to find remnants of World War II in jungles of Papua New Guinea, including those of servicemen who lost their lives like Ambrose Finnegan.

According to Marape, the aircraft that carried Biden's uncle is among the remains of WWII that lie sprawled all over PNG.

“The theaters of war in PNG and Solomon Islands are many, and littered with the remains of WWII including human remains, plane wrecks, shipwrecks, tunnels and bombs. Our people daily live with the fear of being killed by detonated bombs of WWII,” he said.

In a separate interview, the PNG leader admitted in an interview that "sometimes you have loose moments" but that the ties between the United States and the South Pacific island nation were stronger than “one blurry moment”, AFP reported.

Also Read: White House fact checks Joe Biden: The President's uncle wasn’t eaten by cannibals, he died in a plane crash

Marape meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Papua New Guinea PM's response to Biden comes as China seeks to assert more influence in the area.

Notably, the statement was released on the day when Marape met with Wang Yi, the foreign minister of China, in Port Moresby for discussions about fostering deeper ties.

Speaking to reports on the Chinese FM visit to his nation, Marape said: “PNG is blessed”.

Also Read: Biden is seeking higher tariffs on Chinese steel as he courts union voters

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also started his trip to Papua New Guinea on Monday. Later this week, Albanese and Marape will travel a portion of the Kokoda Track, a crucial battleground, to hail the strong defence ties between the two nations.

Before leaving Australia, Albanese told reporters, “I'm very confident that PNG has no stronger partner than Australia and our defense and security ties have never been stronger”, ABC News reported.

Title:Papua New Guinea PM fumes over Biden's ‘cannibals’ remark as he meets Chinese FM: ‘It's time for US to…'

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