18 Jun 2013

MSG to send mission to Indonesia to discuss West Papua issue

12:30 pm on 18 June 2013

The Melanesian Spearhead Group will send a mission to Jakarta and Jayapura later this year to discuss the issue of West Papua with the government of Indonesia.

West Papua is closed to most foreign media, with Jakarta citing security risks emanating from rebel forces.

The planned visit has been revealed by Islandbusiness.com which says an invitation was issued two weeks ago by Djoko Suyanto, who is Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs and a former commander of Indonesia's armed forces.

This comes amid a formal bid by the separatist West Papua National Council for Liberation to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group whose members are meeting in New Caledonia this week.

Fiji's foreign minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, says the visit will be this year, depending on the dates agreed with Indonesia.

Indonesia is already an MSG observer.