2 Jul 2004

Uncertainty over proposed Indonesia/Papua meeting in Vanuatu

4:55 pm on 2 July 2004

It's unclear whether an offer by Vanuatu to host talks designed to ease tension between Indonesia and its Papua province will be taken up by Indonesia.

The Vanuatu Foreign Minister, Moana Carcasses, says Indonesia has verbally accepted an invitation to attend talks from July 26th to July the 28th and a formal invitation is in the mail.

Mr Carcasses says he expects the talks would go ahead regardless of the outcome of elections in Vanuatu on Tuesday.

He says it's the Melanesian way to try to organise an amicable resolution of differences.

"Vanuatu would like that the West Papuan and the Indonesian governments settle their problem, that's one idea. Following our Melanesian culture, when there is a problem we fix the problem in an amical [way], so the both party came and explain and try to find a solution and find a consensus so that everybody are happy."

Indonesia's Ambassador to Australia, Imran Cotan, who covers Vanuatu, says the Government has not received an invitation and cannot say whether it would attend.