Vanuatu backs West Papuan bid for full MSG membership

Vanuatu’s Special Envoy for West Papua, Lora Lini, hands over the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's application for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead group to the MSG Deputy Director General Peter Eafeare. ULMWP executive member Paula Makabory (middle) observes.

The United Liberation Movement of West Papua has officially submitted an application for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group

The Liberation Movement already has observer status in the regional group whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s Kanaks.

The application was presented to the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila on behalf of the ULMWP by Vanuatu’s Special Envoy for the Decolonisation of West Papua to the Pacific Islands States, Lora Lini.

Ms Lini told Johnny Blades the application follows recent establishment of new membership criteria by a MSG sub-committee on regional and institutional issues.

Peter O’Neill: ULMWP’s membership of the MSG is not an issue to PNG

He said Prime Minister O’Neill expressed the ULMWP’s membership of the MSG is not an issue to PNG but rather the ULMWP proving that it is a united body that represents the collective views of the people of West Papua just as the FLNKS is evidently a united body representing the collective views of the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

Pernyataan sebelumnya dari Peter O’Neill melahirkan istilah yang dilahirkan oleh Markas Pusat Pertahanan (MPP) Tentara Revolusi West Papua (TRWP) sebagai “politics of engagement”, sebagai pendekatan Melanesia yang bijak dalam rangka membangun tanggal menuju penyelesaian komprehensiv masalah yang ada antara NKRI dengan West Papua.

Hal kedua yang dikatakan oleh pemimpin bangsa Papua ini ialah bahwa permasalahannya ialah ULMWP sendiri sebagai sebuah lembaga, apakah ULMWP mewakili semua komponen bangsa Papua? Peter O’Neill tidak mengatakan “semua pendukung Papua Merdeka”, tetapi “semua komponen bangsa Papua”.

Artinya bahwa ULMWP harus merangkul lembaga seperti berikut:

  1. Presidium Dewan Papua (PDP)
  2. Dewan Adat Papua (DAP)
  3. Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP)
  4. Majels Rakyat Papua Papua Barat (MRP-PB)
  5. Lembaga Musyawarah Adat (LMA) Papua dan LMA Papua Barat
  6. Dewan Musyawarah Masyarakat Adat Koteka (DeMMAK)
  7. Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP)
  8. West Papua Indigenous Organisation/Association (WPIO/A)
  9. West Papua National Authority (WPNA)
  10. Negara Republik Federal West Papua (NRFPB)
  11. Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB)
  12. West Papua National Coalition for West Papua (WPNCL)
  13. Perempuan Papua Merdeka
  14. Pemuda Papua Merdeka
  15. Intelektual Papua Merdeka

Setelah mendaftarkan organisasi antara lain seperti disebutkan di atas, kemudian ULMWP perlu mengangtkan para pejabat ULMWP dari orang-orang yang ada di dalam West Papua maupun yang ada di luar negeri. Nama-nama seperti berikut seharusnya disebutkan sebagai Anggota Executive dari ULMWP. Tidak bijaksana kalau ULMWP hadir HANYA mewakili pro Papua Merdeka:

  1. Thaha Moh. Al-Hamid
  2. Forkorus Yaboisembut
  3. Benny Giay
  4. Fransalbert Joku
  5. Sofyan Yoman
  6. Phillip S. Karma
  7. Markus Haluk
  8. Nicolaas Jouwe
  9. Ramses Ohee
  10. Matius Murib
  11. dll

Nama-nama yang sudah dikenal NKRI yang ada di dalam negeri West Papua juga harus disebutkan.

Tujuan organisasi ULMWP ialah untuk berjuang berhadapan dengan NKRI, oleh karena itu ULMWP tidak harus lari keluar dan bicara di luar-luar, tetapi harus membawa diri masuk ke dalam NKRI, harus menugaskan orang-orang di dalma NKRI.

Tentu saja, sebelum itu harus ada Undang-Undang yang dengan jelas dan panjang-lebar mengatur semua tugas, tanggungjawab dan wewenang, disertai sanksi dan hukuman serta upah.

Kalau tidak begitu, Peter O’Neill akan tahu persis, bahwa teman-teman, dan adik-adiknya bangsa Papua di wilayah West Papua BELUM SIAP untuk melepaskan diri dari NKRI. Oleh karena itu, solusi terbaik ialah West Papua tinggal di dalma NKRI, sambil menunggu bangsa Papua di West Papua mempersiapkan diri.

MSG Chair Dubs Meeting With PNG Prime Minister As ‘Very Fruitful’

The MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the PNG Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill.
The MSG Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the PNG Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Chair, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare of Solomon Islands has described his dialogue with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill as ‘very fruitful.’

The MSG Chair met with Hon O’Neill in the PNG Capital, Port Moresby yesterday, concluding his second and final round of consultations with MSG leaders since taking up the chairmanship of the Melanesian sub-regional grouping in June 2015.

The key issues of discussion included the following:

  • MSG Special Leaders’ Summit;
  • Outcome of the Meeting of the MSG sub-committee on Legal and Institutional Issues {SCLII) in Port Vila in December 2016. SCLII is the MSG sub-committee that makes recommendations to the MSG Governing Bodies- Senior Officials Meeting, Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Leaders’ Summit;
  • West Papua;
  • MSG Free Trade Agreement;
  • MSG Labour Mobility, Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat; and
  • MSG Chairmanship Handover from Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea.

Speaking after his meeting with Prime Minister O’Neill, the MSG Chair said “I had a very fruitful meeting with the PNG Prime Minister on the agendas of discussion as I also had with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu, Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji earlier on in February.”

On the issue of Special Leaders’ Summit, the MSG Chair said he expressed regret over his inability to convene any Special Leaders’ Summit in December 2016 due to the non-availability of colleague leaders.

He said a Special Leaders’ Summit was supposed to be held to approve the recommendations from various bodies of MSG including SCLII.

However, the MSG Chair said the various bodies of the MSG- SCLII and Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)- did meet and made a number of recommendations to the Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) for submission to the Leaders’ Summit for final approval.

He said the MSG Capitals’ visit was therefore important to consult with colleague leaders on various recommendations from the various MSG Bodies for final approval

“I have met with both Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of Vanuatu and Victor Tutugoro of the FLNKS in Port Vila and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji in Suva as part of this second and final round of consultations earlier in February this year. I was supposed to travel on to Port Moresby to meet with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill but had to postpone the Port Moresby leg of the trip because the PNG Parliament was in session.

“I am now pleased that I finally met with Prime Minister O’Neill yesterday and my meeting with the PNG Prime Minister like my previous meetings with my other colleague leaders was very fruitful.”

On the Outcome of the Meeting of SCLII in Port Vila in September last year, the MSG Chair said he informed Prime Minister O’Neill that the meeting endorsed the proposed Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and was brought to the attention of the SOM and FMM in their meeting which immediately followed the SCLII meeting and were endorsed by the Governing Bodies in December 2016.

He said he informed the PNG Prime Minister that Prime Minister Salwai, FLNKS Spokesman, Mr Tutugoro and Prime Minister Bainimarama have all agreed in principle to the Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and during his consultations with them.

The revised guidelines provide a very transparent process for Leaders to deliberate on an application for membership whereby they enhance and protect the decision-making process and respect the reporting structure of the MSG at the Summit level as stipulated under Articles 7 (1) and (2) of the MSG Agreement.

The MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill in turn expressed support for the Revised MSG Membership Guidelines and as such, Leaders will meet and formally approve them at the next MSG Leaders’ Summit.

On the issue of West Papua, the MSG Chair said he told Prime Minister O’Neill that the United Liberation Movement of West Papua’s (ULMWP’s) application for membership of the MSG will be dealt with under the Revised MSG Membership Criteria.

He said Prime Minister O’Neill expressed the ULMWP’s membership of the MSG is not an issue to PNG but rather the ULMWP proving that it is a united body that represents the collective views of the people of West Papua just as the FLNKS is evidently a united body representing the collective views of the Kanaks of New Caledonia.

The MSG Chair said the PNG Prime Minister further stated that any discussion on the issue of sovereignty should be taken up appropriately with the United Nations Decolonisation Committee (C24) in New York and the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

On the issue of MSG Free Trade Agreement, the MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill stated that PNG will be signing up the agreement after sorting out some issues of concern with Fiji.

On the issue of MSG Labour Mobility, the MSG Chair said Prime Minister O’Neill has expressed desire to see this opened up so that Melanesians from other Melanesian countries do not have to apply for work permit to work in PNG and vice versa.

On the issue of Independent Review of the MSG Secretariat, the MSG Chair told Prime Minister O’Neill that the purpose of the review, which started since January pursuant to the Governing Body decision in December for the review to be undertaken. Its bold objective is to ensure a wholly functional, resilient and robust secretariat that delivers on the mandates of leaders.

He said the PNG Prime Minister conveyed PNG’s firm support for the review and offered assistance to the secretariat to ensure the reform is undertaken smoothly and swiftly.

On the issue of MSG Chairmanship Handover, the MSG Chair said he had sought the view of Prime Minister O’Neill as to when should Solomon Islands hand over the chairmanship to PNG this year and the PNG Prime Minister said Solomon Islands should hold on to the position until after the PNG General Elections in June.

The MSG Chair and his delegation will return to Honiara tomorrow, Friday 17th March.

West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian Leaders

West Papua Liberation Army (WPRA) Secretary-General, towards the end term of his office before the secretariat-general office is being ended by its Commander in Chief, Gen. WPRA Mathias Wenda, made a public statement last night that “West Papua Problem Will Only be Solved in Melanesian Way, by Melanesian leaders“, in reply to written questions sent by PMNews (Free West Papua News at papuapost.com via Email and Mobile Text Message.

PMNews: Hello, this is from PMNews again, we would like to ask some questions in relation to current development of West Papua independence campaign. It was reported recently that the Solomon Islands Prime Minister as the Chair of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has toured and met other Melanesian leaders, except the PNG Prime Minister. What do you make out of this development?

WPRA: We thank to God, Almighty, creator of our Melanesian Islands, particularly the home of Melanesians, the Isle of New Guinea, and to our Melnaesian leaders, who are already standing up for their own people and our common identity as Melanesians.

About the current progress of MSG Chair meeting other MSG leaders, we are really grateful that this is happening. About MSG Chair not yet met PNG Premier, please PMNews,do not worry about this. This is exactly we call “The Melaensian Way”. The most obvious feature of the “Melanesian Way” is: UNPREDICTABLE. Please not it, Melanesians are unpredictable, what we do always unpredictable. When Barack Obama, Donal Trump, T. May, Joko Widodo say something, then most of us will be able to predict what they mean and what they imply at the same time. But when Melanesian peoples say something, they can mean something totally different, it is just unpredictable.

PMNews: United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) was promised to be accepted as Full Member of the MSG by early 2017, but this did not happen. Do you think this is also related to “The Melanesian Way”?

WPRA: You are absolutely right. You got it now. That is exactly why I said, we are Melanesians, and we are unpredictable.What we do is the same as the modern world do things. Melanesians are Melanesians. West Papua Issue is now Melanesian Issue, and we are now already dealing with it. Do not do things in Melanesia according to the Western mindset. It will have a counter-productive outcome.

PMNews: Does it mean Melanesian leaders can make promises but then it is OK if they do not deliver?

WPRA: You were already good in previous question, but now you got it wrong in this question. PLEASE: Do not focus on semi-membership and full-membership. That is western mind. Please focus on “membership”. Full stop. ULMWP is ALREADY a member of the MSG, full stop.

Be thankful, work on it, cultivate and nurture communication and collaboration with Melanesian leaders, our own leaders. Do not treat PNG Premier and Solomon Premier as different peoples. They are just one: Melanesian leaders.

West Papua just born into Melanesian family, a new born baby. Do not ask for food yet, milk first. Work first, cultivate first, nurture first, then things will evolve automatically and naturally. We are not talking about other peoples. We are talking about our own Melanesia and Melanesians. Think in Melanesian Way, Act in Melanesian Way.

PMNews: Elaborate more on the “Melaensian Way” that you are talking about.

WPRA: Just one short story. If you want a girl from another clan, what do you normally do? You must behave, you must show yourself capable man, know how to build house, make garden, and be a man, a husband. If your thinking and behavior is like a small kids, no woman will be willing to marry you, no clan will approve you to get their daughter.

You do not need to go around, you do not need to go to their men’s houses and put notice and distribute leaflets asking for support for your marriage with the girl. You do not need to ask other boys to join you in your demonstration. That will make the whole thing counter-productive, right?

What you should do is “behave”, do things that Melanesian peoples do in order to get attention, and in order to get support!

When we Melanesians live long time in the west, then we forget our own Melanesian Way. This is why we say we are Melanesians, but we do in western way. “Our Voice is like that of Jacob’s, but our skin feels like that of Esau’s”. What a game we are into now.

Get out from there. Be Melanesians, do things in Melanesian Way.

Everything is already on the right track. Nothing to worry about. Just TRUST….

  1. Trust in God and His miracles;
  2. Trust in Melanesia and Melanesian leaders’ wisdom
  3. Trust in Yourselves as Melanesians in West Papua.

And then…

  1. As far as possible, avoid to trust opinion from Non-Melanesian(s), because they have their own interests and we do not want them to change our course into their course;
  2. As far as possible, DELETE doubt in yourself, and in your own Melanesian peoples, because that is the deadliest disease that we can have in order to destroy us Melanesians and our future; and
  3. Only then, you can have the capability to absorb and comprehend ideas and suggestions from outside Melanesia, and then you can properly make use of things coming from outside.

PMNews: Your advice is not really easy, because we are in a globalised world, out West Papuan leaders now live in the West and we do not know what things they are getting from there and what things they want to use to Free West Papua.

WPRA: The right Melanesian leaders from West Papua will choose to live in one of Melanesian states, just like what Any Ayamiseba and The Late Dr. OPM John Otto Ondawame did. If they choose to live in the western countries, we will surely know that they dot not FULLY represent West Papuans, but they PARTLY represent non-Melanesians as well.

PMNwes: Any advice for Melanesian youths in West Papua and all over Indonesia?

WPRA: Not now, nothing to say for them right now.

Since 2004, WPRA has already been active in building bases for Free West Papua Campaign across Melanesian states. Since 2006, or ten years ago, we already have moved the Field  of West Papua Political Match from Western New Guinea to Eastern New Guinea. Therefore, the match now is happening in PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kanaky and Vanuatu, not in West Papua or Indonesia anymore.

There is no comment for spectators. When there is a match, people normally give comments on the match, not on the spectators. Thank you.

 

MSG chair postpones PNG leg of Melanesia tour

The chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has postponed the PNG leg of his Melanesia tour.

Manasseh Sogavare
Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI

 

The tour, his second as chairperson, is to discuss the restructuring of the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu and the revision of MSG Membership Guidelines with other MSG leaders.

Earlier this week Mr Sogavare met with his Vanuatu counterpart, Charlot Salwai in Port Vila and also with FLNKS spokesperson Victor Tutugoro.

Today he is to meet with the Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in Suva.

The Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Government House in Auckland
Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama. Photo: RNZ/ALEX PERROTTET

Following that meeting Mr Sogavare was supposed to fly to Port Moresby to meet with PNG’s prime minister Peter O’Neill.

But this leg of the tour has now been postponed until February.

Mr Sogavare, who flys back to Solomon Islands on Sunday, said he would not be releasing a statement on the outcome of the tour until he completes the PNG leg in February.

The MSG secretariat in Port Vila has been plaqued by issues with funding and its overhaul was recommended by an independent review commissioned because of persistent funding problems and the review of membership guidelines has arisen over the issue of West Papuan membership to the Melanesian Spearhead group.

Solomon Islands and Vanuatu favour West Papuan Membership while Fiji and Papua New Guinea support Indonesia’s view that it should represent West Papuan interests in the group.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/

MSG considers West Papua membership

THE Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is considering full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.Indonesia currently has associate member status with the MSG and is strongly opposed to West Papua being granted full membership.

It is Indonesia’s view that West Papua already falls under their (Indonesian republic) representation in the MSG.

Foreign Ministers of the MSG member countries met in Port Vila last week to discuss guidelines which relate to the bid by West Papua for membership in the group.

Solomon Island’s foreign minister, Milner Tozaka, said the MSG leaders in July requested legal clarification on guidelines for membership.

“So that request has been attended to appropriately by the legal people and they have made a recommendation to be used for the foreign ministers to look at and then we will recommend it to the leaders for endorsement,” he explained.

Mr Tozaka confirmed that there won’t be a decision on the Liberation Movement’s application however he did say that they already have observer status.

MSG countries that have shown their support for the Liberation Movements full membership include Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS Kanaks movement.

Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have however leaned towards the Indonesian side on this issue.

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said his country’s foreign policy remained firm that Vanuatu is not completely free of colonial bondage until all of Melanesia is free.

– PacNews

West Papua, Indonesia not discussed

Vanuatu Daily Post, By Len Garae,

The Melanesian Spearhead Group Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting at the Secretariat in Port Vila this week has not dealt with Indonesia’s Associate Membership of MSG or West Papua’s Observer Status of MSG.

The Chairman of the meeting who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and external Trade of the Solomon Islands, Milner Tozaka said his team has reviewed the procedures to be dealt with by the Leaders early next year.

Asked what the new recommendations are the Chairman explained, “One of the important recommendations is a guideline whereby any new application for membership, will have to be forwarded firstly to the Director General (of MSG), who will be consulting the leaders for their direction as to whether to consider the application or not, and subject to their approval, then they would consider the application”.

He made it clear the meeting this week did not deal with either of the two applications.

“The (MSG) legal institution to revisit the application for membership as well as the associate membership has been done and we have not gone into considering the applications for either of them,” the Chairman explained.

Asked if the meeting has agreed that the two applications are in order, he replied, “The status quo remains the same. Nothing has changed in relation to Indonesia as an Associate Member and West Papua as an Observer”.

The Chairman said any changes would only take place after the leaders meet to consider the new criteria have been recommended by the Legal Committee to the leaders for their deliberations next year.

The current Chair said the next meeting will depend on the new Chairman of MSG in consultation with his colleagues but that it is expected to be held early next year.

While farewelling the staff of MSG Secretariat and wishing them and their families “merry Christmas” over kava and snacks at the Secretariat yesterday, the Chairman said, “Following the appointment of Ambassador (Amena) Yauvoli, a Governing body meeting was convened and hosted by Fiji in the beautiful city of Lautoka in early June this year.

“The outcome of the meeting was politically significant for MSG as members re-energised their deliberations on the agenda of membership issue and guideline.

“The outcome of this particular discussion in our meeting this week has further paved the way for our Leaders to deliberate on the issue in 2017.

Melanesian Spearhead Group considers West Papuan Membership

msg-2z0boxchjkjqmqkfnmquq2EMTV rliosi – The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is considering a full membership application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

Indonesia currently has associate member status with the MSG and is strongly opposed to West Papua being granted full membership.

It is Indonesia’s view that West Papua already falls under their (Indonesian republic) representation in the MSG.

Foreign Ministers of the MSG member countries met yesterday evening in Port Villa to discuss guidelines which relate to the bid by West Papua for membership in the group.

Solomon Island’s foreign minister, Milner Tozaka, said the MSG leaders in July requested legal clarification on guidelines for membership.

“So that request has been attended to appropriately by the legal people and they have made a recommendation to be used for the foreign ministers to look at and then we will recommend it to the leaders for endorsement,” he explained.

Tozaka confirmed that there won’t be a decision on the Liberation Movement’s application however he did say that they already have observer status.

MSG countries that have shown their support for the Liberation Movements full membership include Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and the FLNKS Kanaks movement.

Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have however leaned towards the Indonesian side on this issue.

Vanuatu’s Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said his country’s foreign policy remained firm that Vanuatu is not completely free of colonial bondage until all of Melanesia is free.

MSG meetings in Vila not expected to decide on Papuan bid

A series of Melanesian Spearhead Group meetings are taking place this week in Vanuatu’s capital to look at the group’s membership guidelines.

Last month, the MSG secretariat scheduled this week’s meeting in Port Vila for leaders of its members to discuss a West Papuan bid for full membership.

However there will not be a leaders summit component at this week’s meetings, with the expectation that they will now meet early in the new year.

An Indonesian captures the Melanesian Spearhead Group proceedings, 20 December 2016 in Port Vila, on device. West Papuan representatives Benny Wenda and Octo Mote (MSG observers with the United Liberation Movement) in foreground.
An Indonesian captures the Melanesian Spearhead Group proceedings, 20 December 2016 in Port Vila, on device. West Papuan representatives Benny Wenda and Octo Mote (MSG observers with the United Liberation Movement) in foreground. Photo: Supplied

But today in Vila, MSG senior officials met, and tomorrow the group’s foreign ministers are to meet, to discuss the findings of a constitutional committee that has reviewed MSG rules on membership.

It’s understood there won’t be a decision on the full membership application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua this week.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama listens to a speech at the plenary session of the Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit in Noumea in 2013.
Fiji’s prime minister and foreign minister Frank Bainimarama is not in Vila for this week’s MSG meeting, but a leaders summit to decide on West papuan membership is expected early in the new year. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

 

In a sign of the sensitivity around the issue within the MSG, leaders have this year deferred a number of summits where West Papuan membership was a priority item.

The Sub-Committee on Legal and Institutional Issues was tasked by MSG leaders at their Honiara summit in July to clarify guidelines for observer, associate and full membership in the group.

The MSG’s five full members – Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s FLNKS Kanaks Movement – have been divided over whether to grant full membership to West Papuans.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua was granted observer status in the MSG last year but its bid for full membership has been deferred pending clarity on the guidelines.

United Liberation Movement for West Papua representatives outside the Melanesian Spearhead Group secretariat, 20 December 2016.
United Liberation Movement for West Papua representatives outside the Melanesian Spearhead Group secretariat, 20 December 2016. Photo: Supplied

The Liberation Movement’s leaders, including Octo Mote, Benny Wenda, Rex Rumakiek and Jacob Rumbiak are in Port Vila for this week’s meetings.

Representatives of Indonesia, which has associate member status at the MSG, are also present.

PM: MSG seeks wider support for West Papua

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has include Micronesia, Polynesia, and African countries to fight against human rights violations in West Papua.

Mr Sogavare explained this in Parliament when asked by Opposition Leader, Jeremiah Manele on Thursday.

He said Papua New Guinea and Fiji have taken different stand on this issue and did not want to follow the purpose and stand of MSG.

“PNG shares the same border with Indonesia and want to take cautious and Fiji has fixed connections with Indonesia,” Mr Sogavare said.

“Therefore, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia will include the Micronesia and Polynesia countries ply non alliance group in Africa,” he said.

Furthermore, Mr Sogavare said the government will continue with the shuttle diplomacy of sending the envoy to consult and engage in Pacific countries.

“We send our envoy to talk with the leaders within our own circle and outside of Melanesia,” the MSG chair said.

Rex Horoi is the Solomon Islands’ special envoy to West Papua.

Mr Sogavare said the envoy’s term will end after his two years with MSG lapses.

However, he wants to take it up to Parliament to find ways to continue after the chair of MSG ends.

Opposition leader, Mr Manele said it’s a complex issue because it involves self-determination and human rights.

However, he said this is the first time for the government to take a proactive step on this policy.

“It’s important for Indonesia to understand our position,” Mr Manele said.

“I hope the engagement and consultation go on, can help Indonesia to understand where we are coming from,” he added.

“I guess it’s advisable for more engaging and consultative approach we continue to take on this matter, at the end of the day, not counter-productive,” he said.

Mr Manele supports the idea to continue with a policy in Parliament after the end of Mr Horoi’s term.

By EDDIE OSIFELO

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