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Jakarta Post

After observing Papua, MSG ministers to meet SBY

  • Bagus BT Saragih and Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 14, 2014   /  05:20 pm

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is set to receive foreign ministers of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) member nations at the State Palace on Wednesday, says presidential spokesman for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah.

Yudhoyono will receive Fijian Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Papua New Guinean Rimbink Pato and Clay Forau Soaloi of the Solomon Islands at the State Palace, Faizasyah said.

'€œThe meeting will be in the format of a courtesy call without the signing of agreements,'€ he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Faizasyah brushed off reports suggesting that Yudhoyono and the MSG officials would sign an agreement on noninterference in Papuan issues by the grouping.

Two other MSG members, Vanuatu and the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a pro-independence group from French-ruled New Caledonia, were represented by special envoys.

The Pacific islands officials are in Indonesia to assess the application of the separatist West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL) as an MSG member as mandated by the MSG'€™s 19th Leaders Summit in the New Caledonian capital of Noumea in June 2013.

The WPNCL, which is based in Vanuatu, currently has observer status in the MSG, as does Indonesia.

The delegation visited Papua, West Papua and Maluku provinces on Monday and Tuesday '€œto observe the development in the province and receive briefings on the implementation of the special autonomy by the local government'€, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto told the Post on Monday.

Pato told Antara news agency in Jayapura that Papua New Guinea and other countries in the MSG, '€œI think, support Papua to remain under Indonesian sovereignty'€.

Fiji'€™s Ratu Inoke said, '€œThe visit will provide the opportunity to learn firsthand about the situation in West Papua and understand the aspirations of our fellow Melanesian brothers and sisters in Papua.'€

'€œWe fully respect Indonesia'€™s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we further recognize that West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia,'€ he said in an official statement released by the Fijian government. (*****)

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