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Indonesia to campaign on Papua progress in regional forum

The Indonesian government has invited foreign ministers from Melanesian nations grouped under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to Jakarta to receive briefings on development in Papua and West Papua provinces, a move that could be seen as a campaign to obtain international support for the country’s sovereignty over its easternmost region.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said that an invitation for the event had been sent to Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“It is true that I met the Fijian prime minister in Fiji on June 3. The topics we discussed touched mainly on bilateral relations between our two countries. At the meeting, I also extended an invitation to foreign ministers of MSG member states to come to Indonesia,” said Djoko Suyanto on Tuesday (18/06).

The MSG consists of Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, as well as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a pro-independence group from French-ruled New Caledonia.

“We invite these foreign ministers to visit Indonesia to observe Indonesia’s development in general, which also includes the government’s policy on the acceleration of development in Papua and West Papua,” Djoko said.

He denied, however, that the invitations were aimed at countering Papuan pro-independence activists’ efforts to win support from the international community.

The senior minister said that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had endorsed the plan.

On Monday (17/06), PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who led a delegation of government officials and business leaders on a three-day visit to Jakarta, said that Papua was an integral part of Indonesia.

O’Neill merely added that he was “happy to have been asked by the Indonesian government to help manage issues” in Papua and West Papua.

Source: The Jakarta Post


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Filed under Development, Pacific, Papua, Separatism

Melanesian Spearhead Group delays decision on West Papua membership

It has been recommended that a bid by the Free West Papua movement to join regional Pacific body the Melanesian Spearhead Group to been deferred.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) brings together the leaders of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, along with New Caledonia’s indigenous political movement FLNKS.

The Free West Papua movement is pushing for independence from Indonesia and sees membership of the MSG as a step towards international recognition.

PacNews reports foreign ministers gathered in Lifou, the capital of New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands, have resolved to defer the decision until they’ve sent a delegation to Jakarta and Jayapura.

Fiji Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola

Fiji Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola

Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola told the meeting Indonesia extended the invitation earlier this month.

He says Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands take the same position when it comes to the Indonesian province of Papua.

“All MSG countries share the same view that we would like to some form of self-determination for West Papua,” he said.

Vanuatu’s foreign minister Edward Natapei says his country strongly backed the bid to have it discussed at this meeting, but was outnumbered.

“We have to comply with the majority,” he said.

The leaders will also consider whether to approve the foreign ministers’ decision to send a delegation to Jakarta and Jayapura.

Source: Australia Network News


Filed under Pacific, Papua, Separatism

MSG invites Indonesia as observer

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) grants Indonesia an observer status at its summit meeting in Suva, Fiji next week.

East Timor also has been granted observer status, while a founding member of the European Union, Luxembourg, has been invited as a special guest.

Fiji’s leader and MSG chairman, Frank Bainimarama, says the decision to invite Indonesia as observer is a historic moment in the young life of the MSG, which was formed in 2005.

The MSG is an intergovernmental organization made up of the four Pacific Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) of New Caledonia with headquarters in Vanuatu.

The MSG was heavily involved in political discussions following Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum in May 2009 because its non return to democracy and was accused by the West, especially Australia and New Zealand.

Indonesia applied for official observer status at the MSG on February 2011.

It shows that Indonesia is open and ready at how to tackle some of the prickly issues the group may deal with – including the West Papuan independence movement.***(wpnn)

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Filed under Papua, Separatism