The National, Monday June 24th, 2013
By MALUM NALU
PAPUA New Guinea recognises West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion says.
But Dion supported the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), a militant socialist pro-independence alliance of political parties in New Caledonia fighting for independence from France,
Speaking at the Melanesian Solidarity Group (MSG) Leaders’ Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia, last Friday, Dion reiterated what Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had said in Indonesia earlier last week.
MSG leaders noted that a roadmap in relation to the application by West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL) for membership should be based on clear and achievable timelines.
They acknowledged that the human rights violations needed to be highlighted and noted that to progress the WPNCL’s application, it was important to continually engage with Indonesia.
They agreed to establish a process of dialogue and consultation with Indonesia.
They noted and welcomed the invitation from Indonesia to invite a foreign ministers’ mission to be led by Fiji and that confirmation on the timing of the mission was being awaited.
The outcomes of the WPNCL’s application would be subject to the report of the FMM mission.
“There are issues for discussions will constitute part of the meeting agendas that have implications on sovereignty and therefore, with the indulgence of my colleague prime ministers, it is important that we tread the issues with wisdom to arrive at a gainful conclusion,” Dion said.
“In that regard, on the issue of new membership, PNG maintains its position by recognising West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia under the Treaty of Mutual Respect, Friendship and Cooperation signed between Indonesia and PNG.”
Dion said the MSG had achieved much over the past 25 years since its inception in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.
He commended the eminent persons group (EPG) for putting together the MSG Vision that would guide it for another 25 years.
“I believe many important issues have been captured in the report of the EPG reflecting the wishes and desires of the people of Melanesia,” he said.
“The MSG Vision is a key master strategy that will pave the way forward in terms of guiding MSG on to achieving the key principles of why MSG was established 25 years ago in Papua New Guinea.
“The vision must be achievable, relevant and applicable to MSG countries to implement.”
Dion congratulated the FLNKS in taking up the role of the chair of MSG this year and for the next two years.
“The FLNKS is at the juncture of a very significant milestone of the Noumea Accord – that is the path leading up to the referendum of the people of New Caledonia scheduled for 2014,” he said.