9 Apr 2015

Vanuatu says Indonesian aid has no bearing on Papua issue

1:56 pm on 9 April 2015

The Vanuatu government says the Indonesian government's relief assistance will have no bearing on the West Papuan bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman

Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman Photo: UN.org

Vanuatu's Foreign Affairs Minister Sato Kilman says he personally received the aid relief donations from a delegation from Indonesia on Tuesday.

Mr Kilman was Prime Minister of Vanuatu in 2012 when the government controversially forged a co-operation agreement with Jakarta, although subsequent configurations of government have stepped back from closer links.

Howerer, the Foreign Minister says at this stage, Vanuatu will welcome assistance from any country.

"In my view it had nothing to do with the West Papuan issue, Vanuatu has diplomatic relations with Jakarta and this is a humanitarian issue and whoever has the heart to be able to give and donate to Vanuatu to help this reconstruction. It's a welcoming thing for Vanuatu."

Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid for membership will be considered at the MSG leaders summit in Solomon Islands later this year.