6 Feb 2012

Vanuatu deputy opposition leader vows to continue support of West Papua

2:30 pm on 6 February 2012

Vanuatu's deputy opposition leader, Edward Natapei, has told a visiting West Papuan delegation that any future government that includes his Vanua'aku Pati would review the development co-operation agreement with Indonesia.

The Daily Post reports that this agreement, recently signed by the current government, prohibits Vanuatu from taking up the issue of West Papua locally and internationally.

The agreement also recognises Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua and states that the signatory countries must not interfere in each other's internal affairs.

Mr Natapei also assured the delegation that a Vanuatu government led by the Vanu'aku Pati would help West Papua achieve observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum.

It would also press for those agencies to send missions to West Papua to assess the human rights situation there.