18 May 2015

Indonesia's Melanesia policy no concern for West Papua group

11:10 am on 18 May 2015

The spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua says he's not concerned about Indonesia's bid to become an associate of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The foreign ministers of the MSG are scheduled to meet on Thursday, where the ULM's application for full MSG membership is likely to come up.

In the lead-up to the membership decision, expected in July, Indonesia has increased its high-level lobbying in Melanesian countries, and last week, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill gave his support to Indonesia joining as an associate member.

Benny Wenda says he's not concerned by Jakarta's latest maneuvers.

"For us it's a different issue because West Papua, we are entitled to become a full member. If Indonesia's wants to be an associate member that's up to the Melanesian leaders, but West Papua is entitled to become a full member. So I'm not really concerned about Indonesia's request."

West Papuan

West Papuan Photo: AFP

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