12 May 2006

Vanuatu government officially backs Papua's self-determination

7:58 am on 12 May 2006

The Vanuatu government has officially declared it fully supports the Indonesia province of Papua's cause for self-determination.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the Lini-led government says Vanuatu as a democratic and independent nation would continue to maintain its non-align foreign policy.

In a statement, the government says its support for Papua was reiterated to

the Indonesian Ambassador to Vanuatu on 28 March in Port Vila.

A government spokesman says while relations had been established with Indonesia, it does not mean that its foreign policy on Papua would not be maintained.

He says while there had been attempts in the past to show dissatisfaction over the Papua issue, the current government has actually met with Indonesian leaders to talk about the issue.

Vanuatu had been accused of not having a clear policy on its support for West Papua.