07:14 GMT +321 July 2019
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    US Official Flying to Australia to Boost Bilateral Alliance - State Dept.

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US diplomat specialising in East Asian and Pacific affairs will pay a three-day visit to Canberra to further boost the United States' alliance ties with Australia, and will also visit Papua New Guinea and Thailand, the Department of State said in a media note on Friday.

    "Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for East Asian and Pacific Affairs W. Patrick Murphy travels to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Thailand, May 22-31, 2019," the note said. "He will visit Canberra, May 22-24, to meet with the newly elected Australian government".

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    The State Department explained Murphy will seek to coordinate efforts to expand and deepen the US-Australia alliance and discuss implementing joint policies to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region in conjunction with other partners.

    "In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on May 27, PDAS Murphy will meet with government officials and hold consultations with this close US Pacific partner", the note said.

    In Bangkok, from 28 May to 31 May, Murphy will represent the United States at the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials Meetings and will co-chair with Thailand the Lower Mekong Initiative, the note added.

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