Leader From Papua New Guinea Slams Biden Over Cannibalism Comment

(DailyVantage.com) – President Joe Biden’s latest verbal gaffe has drawn marked criticism from James Marape, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

Marape was reacting to a comment from Biden, who said during a stopover at a U.S. war memorial that his uncle, Ambrose Finnegan, was possibly eaten by “cannibals” from the island nation when Finnegan’s plane was shot down and crashed in the country during World War II. Finnegan’s remains were never recovered, the president said.

In a statement, Marape acknowledged that Biden might have just committed a “slip of the tongue” but said that he still took offense at the quip, given that Papua New Guinea was only “needlessly dragged” into World War II, which he said was “not the doing of my people.” He also said that the country did not deserve to be labeled as a nation of cannibals, even in reference to its history. The Papua New Guinea PM also noted that it might be a good time for the U.S. to exert more efforts to retrieve and clean up the remnants of World War II that were left in the country, which Marape said could include the remains of Biden’s uncle.

Biden’s remarks come at the heels of a recent meeting between Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, with Marape. The U.S., which has a defense treaty with Papua New Guinea that the two countries signed last year, is attempting to temper China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Commenting on Marape’s reaction to President Biden’s statement, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that America “remains committed” to the fostering of “respectful relations” between the two countries and that the U.S. “respects the people and culture of Papua New Guinea,” which the State Department described as “a regional leader with diverse cultures.”

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