Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato on behalf of Papua New Guinea has passed his condolences to the family and friends of the victims of recent political violence by militants over the border from PNG.
“Violence is completely unacceptable and people should pursue peaceful democratic processes to resolve political differences,” Mr Pato said during a bilateral meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi
Despite lobbying from Melanesian Spear head Group countries and the Pacific to support West Papua in their quest for Independence, PNG still maintained its stance that Indonesia has control over the restive West Papua Province.
However, during West Papua Day celebrations at Ela Beach on December 1, NCD Governor and key coalition ally Powes Parkop said he recognises West Papua’s fight for independence.
In an article dated October 16, 2018, in the Post-Courier, Mr Pato said: “West Papua is still an integral part of Indonesia and PNG under its foreign policy will not interfere with that and the international law on that matter.”
During the meeting Mr Pato reaffirmed the longstanding PNG policy of full recognition of the lawful sovereignty of Indonesia over its Papuan provinces.
“The benefits of the constructive engagement policy of PNG and Indonesia in the border area between the two countries would soon become increasingly evident,” he said.
In 2019 officials from both countries will meet in February to recommend a list of joint projects for their governments and add to the existing ones in the border areas.
Mr Pato also met with the Ambassador of Qatar to Papua New Guinea, Ammed Bin Jassim Mohammed Ali Al-Hamar of Qatar, and agreed to enhance diplomatic, trade and investment relations.
https://postcourier .com.pg/west-papua-still-intergral-part-indonesia/ , 2018