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Group to assess West Papua application

Nasik Swami
Monday, January 13, 2014

THE Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will assess the application by West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) to become a member of the group.

This will be discussed at the MSG Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) in Indonesia this week, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

In an Information Ministry statement released on Saturday, Ratu Inoke said the FMM delegation would also be in West Papua for two days during the visit to meet with local government officials and other relevant stakeholders.

"We are happy to undertake this important visit at the invitation of the Indonesian Government to be able to assess the application by WPNCL to become a member of the MSG to enable us to present a recommendation to our leaders," Ratu Inoke said.

"We fully respect Indonesia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and we further recognise that West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia."

Ratu Inoke will also meet Indonesian President Susilo Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

He said the visit would provide an opportunity to learn about the situation in West Papua and understand the aspirations of Fiji's Melanesian brothers and sisters in Papua with regards to their representation by WPNCL in the MSG.

It was envisaged that the visit would also deepen the economic ties and development co-operation between Indonesia and MSG countries.

The visit will be mandated by the MSG leaders who were at the MSG summit in Noumea in June last year.

The meeting ends on Thursday.

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