28 Nov 2007

MSG can push issue of West Papuan self-determination, says Sogavare

12:11 pm on 28 November 2007

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says the Melanesian Spearhead Group can do more to push for discussion on self-determination aspirations of Papuans.

Manasseh Sogavare says the MSG guiding principles mean member countries should assist fellow Melanesian peoples realise statehood where possible.

With the opening of the new MSG secretariat building in Vanuatu, there are hopes the sub-regional grouping will step up efforts to grant observer status to West Papuans who live under Indonesian rule.

Mr Sogavare says the MSG could do more to push for dialogue with Jakarta on self-determination for West Papuans.

"We've made it very very plain and clear that if we have to push their agenda of course we take it up and discuss it formally with the relevant authorities. That is open and our charter clearly mandates us to do that."

Manasseh Sogavare.