Jokowi calls for greater economic cooperation with PNG
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has called for a strengthening of economic ties with Papua New Guinea during a business breakfast in Port Moresby.
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo called for a strengthening of economic ties with Papua New Guinea during a business breakfast in Port Moresby Tuesday morning.
The Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O'Neill reiterated the sentiments and thanked Indonesia for its part in supporting PNG's successful bid to host the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby.
Our correspondent Todagia Kelola was at business breakfast and told Koroi Hawkins local media were not allowed to ask any questions and there was no mention of the West Papua issue.
TODAGIA KELOLA: Basically the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in his address at the breakfast called for stronger economic ties between Papua New Guinea and his country but he was silent on the West Papua issue.
KOROI HAWKINS: And so like the Indonesian Prime Minister no mention from Prime Minister O'Neill of the issues in West Papua.
TK: Yes during the breakfast the Prime Minister just stated that he was happy that, I mean Mr Widodo is very active in trying to promote peace and harmony in West Papua and Papua provinces by him releasing some political prisoners that he released before coming to Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea acknowledged that but he never went into detail on that.
KH: Now the overarching thing here is the upcoming membership application by the West Papua United Front who has applied for membership to the MSG. Do you know if Papua New Guinea has come out and made a position clear in terms of whether it will be supporting that bid?
TK: Well the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill made his stance clear that yes he is supportive of the Papua's bid to be part of the MSG. But there is no official announcement by the Prime Minister and there are talks that Indonesian President Widodo's visit to PNG is to try to influence Papua New Guinea not to support that. I don't think that is what, if that is what Widodo is trying to do I don't think Papua New Guinea prime minister will approve on that. As for what we are seeing now is that Mr Widodo like before coming to PNG he went to the west of the island where Papua is and he released five prisoners, political prisoners and by coming to Papua New Guinea basically he is trying to show that Indonesia is now opening or Indonesia should now, his government Widodo's government should now be perceived by other world countries that it is really concerned on the issues that have been happening in West Papua. That by coming to Papua and coming to Papua New Guinea it is basically Indonesian government's moves to address what is happening in West Papua.
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