PNG confirms school children shooting not raised with Indonesia

9:33 pm on 3 March 2015

The Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister has confirmed that he did not raise with his Indonesian counterpart the specific issue of a shooting of school students in December.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato.

Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Rimbink Pato last month reaffirmed PNG's stance that it respects Indonesia's sovereignty over the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

The comments came after the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, made his strongest statements yet about human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.

Mr Pato says both countries are members of international rights bodies and issues are raised if and when they occur, but he confirmed he has not raised the controversial killing of students in uniforms in Papua in December.

"Human rights is clearly a concern to all of us but as to the specifics, it's a matter that we have to deal with case by case. During the meeting I had that was not one of the specific matters that was not one of the matters that was raised on our part, and neither was it raised on the part of the Indonesians, because I did not receive a brief in relation to it."

Late last week Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

The Minister's visit to these Melanesian countries comes as the Melanesian Spearhead group considers a membership bid by West Papuans, the indigenous people of Indonesia's troubled eastern region.

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