National

Elite Australian soldiers deployed to PNG

By AAP Newswire

Elite Australian special forces soldiers have been sent to Papua New Guinea to help the impoverished nation secure Port Moresby ahead of a meeting of world leaders next month.

Leaders including US Vice President Mike Pence, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison are all expected to attend the two-day APEC summit.

Royal Australian Navy warships will also be located off the PNG coast to protect cruise ships used for temporary APEC accommodation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the deployment had been 18 months in the making.

He described the November summit as "a big challenge" for PNG.

"As you can expect, with so many world leaders coming together, the security and other arrangements that need to be in place need significant support," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"I don't think there's any surprise or any real shock that we would be engaging in supporting them in this way."