Jakarta urges Canberra to deliver regional warning on Papua

RadioNZ – Indonesia’s Defence Minister has urged Australia to rebuke Pacific Island states who raise issues relating to West Papua in global fora.

Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu looks on during the third Trilateral Defence Minister’s Meeting in Nusa Dua on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on August 2, 2016. Photo: SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP

Ryamizard Ryacudu met with Australian government representatives including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a meeting in Bali where the two countries reaffirmed security ties.

He pressed Australia to pass a message to Solomon Islands that it should refrain from interferring in the internal affairs of Indonesia, including the issue of West Papua.

World Humanitarian Summit Pacific Consultation. Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia

World Humanitarian Summit Pacific Consultation. Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in his role as chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, has been vocal about boosting West Papuan representation in the group.

He was also one of seven leaders of Pacific states who spoke out about rights abuses in Papua and on support for Papuan self-determination at last month’s UN General Assembly session.

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare has been appointed chair of the Pacific Islands Development Forum. Photo: UN Photo/Kim Haughton

Ryamizard told media that he had implored Canberra to speak to Honiara on the matter because Australia contributes a big aid package in the Solomons.

Detik News reports the Minister saying Australia has accepted the request.

Ryamizard said friendly countries do not disturb each other by interfering in domestic issues.

Indonesian military guard the border with Papua New Guinea

Indonesian military guard the border with Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

He warned that Indonesia will not stay silent when its sovereignty is compromised. He described Indonesia as a tiger that can attack if disturbed.

The Minister urged Australia to pass on the message to Solomon Islands and other Pacific states that they should not invite West Papua to join the MSG.

A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua's bid to join the MSG.

A march through the streets of Honiara in support of West Papua‘s bid to join the MSG. Photo: Supplied

The MSG accepted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua into the group with observer status last year and is considering whether to elevate it to full membership.

An MSG leaders meeting on the matter is due before the end of the year in Vanuatu.

Indonesia has associate member status at the MSG.

Jakarta urges Canberra to deliver regional warning on Papua was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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