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Jakarta bid queried

Rnzi
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

THERE are questions over the effectiveness of a push by Indonesia to have Australia lean on Pacific countries to not talk about West Papua.

Indonesia's Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has urged Australia to rebuke Pacific states, in particular Solomon Islands, for raising Papua in global fora.

He urged Canberra to speak to Honiara on the matter because Australia contributes a big aid package in the Solomons.

A Research Fellow at the Australian National University's State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Stewart Firth, said Jakarta had misinterpreted Australia's relationship with Pacific countries.

"These are sovereign states. And in particular in the case of Solomon Islands, Solomon Islands has a right to do that as a sovereign country, and Australia's not in a very good position to tell them differently", Dr Firth said.








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