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Foreign Minister Bob Carr has threatened to consider sanctions against Papua New Guinea if it abandons plans to hold mid-year elections.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has pledged a full, free and fair election for late June but is facing calls - including from his own deputy - to delay.
Senator Carr on Wednesday significantly hardened Australia's line on the government's plans.
"It is absolutely vital that Papua New Guinea, that the government of Prime Minister O'Neill commit unequivocally to this election," Senator Carr told Sky News.
The failure to hold elections would create a "shocking model" for the Pacific, he said.
"You've got Australia placed in a position where we'd have no alternative but to organise the world to condemn and isolate Papua New Guinea," he said.
"We'd be in a position of having to consider sanctions