PNG supports Indonesian unity, says PM

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare said Papua New Guinea fully supports the integrity of the unitary state of Indonesia.
“One thing that Prime Minister Somare emphasised was that Papua New Guinea supports the unitary state of Indonesia.
“He stated several times that the country could not be used for launching activities against the unitary state of Indonesia,” Indonesian presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said after accompanying president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a meeting with Sir Michael in Singapore last Friday.
Mr Djalal said Sir Michael reaffirmed that the current status of Papua was final as part of the unitary state of Indonesia.
During the meeting that lasted for about 30 minutes at Hotel Marina Mandarin, Sir Michael and Mr Yudhoyono had also discussed border cooperation.
“They also spoke on security and the economy,” the presidential spokesman said.
Mr Djalal said a checkpoint would soon be opened at the border to facilitate the traffic of people, particularly traditional border crossers.
Regarding the hundreds of Indonesians from Papua who are now still staying in PNG, Mr Djalal said the two governments had agreed to repatriate them in stages.
“Many of them who have moved to Papua New Guinea have already been repatriated.
“Two batches will be repatriated on Nov 19 and Nov 22,” he said.
The encounter was one of the bilateral meetings Mr Yudhoyono held in Singapore while attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit at the weekend. – Antara News Agency