Papua New Guinea PM dismisses Biden’s ‘loose’ talk on cannibalism as a ‘blurry moment’

PORT MORESBY  -  Papua New Guinea’s leader has dismissed Joe Biden’s unlikely suggestion that his uncle was eat­en by cannibals as “loose” talk that does not reflect the US president’s feelings for the country.

“Sometimes you have loose moments,” James Marape said in an interview after Biden’s conten­tious remarks, adding that the relationship was stronger than “one blurry moment”.

Biden said last week that his uncle Ambrose Finnegan was shot down over the Pacific nation during World War II, suggesting his body was nev­er found because “there were a lot of cannibals” in the area. US defence records show Finnegan’s cou­rier flight was “forced to ditch in the ocean” off the island’s coast “for unknown reasons”.

“I’ve met him on four occasions, until today, and on every occasion he’s always had warm regards for Papua New Guinea,” Marape said.

“Never in those moments (has) he spoke of PNG as cannibals,” he added. Papua New Guinea has for decades tried to shed outdated tropes that paint it as a wild nation full of savagery and cannibalism.

“There are much, much... deeper values in our relationship than one statement, one word, one punchline,” said Marape.

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