President Yudhoyono: Australia Respects Papua as Part of Indonesia

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that Australia respects and supports the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia, and sees Papua as part of Indonesia.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left)

This statement was made after the President had a lengthy discussion with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Australian Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson.

“Papua is legitimately part of Indonesia, and we are doing everything we can to create welfare and justice there,” said the president at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Darwin, Australia on Wednesday, July 4.

Yudhoyono said that Indonesia always stresses that acknowledging other countries’ sovereignties is important. “In the context of partnership, international diplomacy, and geopolitics, sovereignty has to be always included. Our diplomacy for southwestern pacific area is to make sure that the countries in the area respect each other including Indonesia,” he said.

The president has been in Darwin since Monday, July 2.

In this visit, the president also discussed about the possibility of having Australia donate four planes of Hercules C-130. The planes are expected to help natural disasters management and emergency.

Other topics in the discussion includes trading and investment development, especially in beef industries, and about 54 children – victims of human trafficking and who are now in custody.

Before coming back to Jakarta, the president will visit the border between Indonesia and Australia in Waingapu, East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara. He is expected to be there until Thursday, July 5.

Source: TempoInteractive

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