Report – By Pacific Media Watch
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Joe Natuman has reconfirmed his government’s support for West Papuan independence aspirations to Indonesia’s government, Radio New Zealand International reports.
While acknowledging the cordial relationship between Vanuatu and Indonesia, Natuman reminded the visiting Indonesian Ambassador to Vanuatu, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, of Vanuatu’s firm position in support of the West Papuan struggle.
The Prime Minister said that while there were clear disagreements between the two countries, Vanuatu and Indonesia should be able to discuss sensitive issues in an amicable way and find the best way forward.
Natuman took the opportunity to inform the Indonesian ambassador of a forum planned for Port Vila later this month at which various West Papuan groups will converge to discuss a potential bid to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
Ambassador Kesoema said the needs of the indigenous people of West Papua were being taken into account as the country continued its democratisation.
Source: Pacific Media Watch 8906