2 Jul 2007

Indonesia considering invitation to American Samoan Congressman

10:15 am on 2 July 2007

Indonesia is considering allowing American Samoa's Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, a staunch supporter of Papuan independence, to visit Papua Province.

The Jakarta Post quotes Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda saying that if Faleomavaega's agenda and schedule were appropriate, the visit would be approved.

In 2005 the American Samoa congressman sponsored a bill asking the U.S. government to review its recognition of Papua as part of Indonesia.

He has also criticised Australia and New Zealand for leaving the Papua issue up to Indonesia.

However, Faleomavaega recently told an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle delegation visiting the U.S. that Indonesia's sovereignty over the province depended not so much on international recognition, but on how the Indonesian government treated the territory, improved the capacity of local governments and empowered Papuan people.

The delegation invited Faleomavaega to visit Papua to see for himself the progress that has been made in the province.