24 Apr 2009

US Secretary of State signals support for greater autonomy for Papua

10:24 am on 24 April 2009

In a response to American Samoa's congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signalled her support for greater autonomy for the Indonesian region of West Papua.

Faleomavaega met today with Secretary Clinton who testified for the first time before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Secretary requested the congressman's direct advice and support in developing a more comprehensive US policy toward the Pacific region.

Faleomavaega requested that the Obama Administration review the political status of West Papua, and the extent to which Jakarta has included West Papuans in the development of special autonomy status.

He also asked that the Administration hold Indonesia accountable for continued human rights abuses in West Papua.

Secretary Clinton said West Papuans need to be supported in their efforts to have a degree of autonomy within Indonesia.

She said while West Papua is part of sovereign Indonesia, it deserves more support, respect, and certainly protection from any human rights abuses.