PORT MORESBY, Sep 17, 2019, ANTARA. While receiving Indonesian Parliament’s several members in Port Moresby last week, Papua New Guinean (PNG) Foreign Minister Soroi Marrepo minced no words in declaring that PNG consistently recognizes Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua and West Papua, reported the ANTARA.
“The PNG foreign minister has obviously conveyed his government’s political stance,” Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I overseeing Defense and Foreign Affairs Setya Widya Yudha noted in a press statement here on Monday.
At a meeting with the House’s Commission I delegation members at the foreign ministry office in Port Moresby last week, Marrepo firmly echoed his view of the PNG Government consistently supporting Indonesia’s sovereignty over the two provinces, he remarked.
Indonesia’s delegation constituted Evita Nursanyanti, representing the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) Faction, and Sukamta from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Faction, as well as Indonesian Ambassador to PNG Andriana Supandi.
At the meeting, Foreign Minister Marrepo was accompanied by his ministry’s secretary, Barbara Agirigolo Age.
He was quoted by Yudha as saying that a recent rally staged by a group of people in Port Moresby to call for a referendum for the people of the provinces of Papua and West Papua did not represent the PNG government’s official political stance.
However, Indonesia is expected to find a wise and peaceful way out to placate the recent violent protests that native Papuans in the two provinces staged over the alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, 2019.
According to ANTARA, the PNG government’s recognition of Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua and West Papua is also shared by Australia as outlined in the Lombok Treaty of 2006.
The talks between Foreign Minister Marrepo and the Indonesian delegation members did not solely focus on Papua issues but also on ways to continue to strengthen bilateral multisectoral cooperation between Indonesia and PNG.
“Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy and culture must continuously be strengthened by, for instance, opening a direct flight connecting cities in the two countries. Inter-parliamentary cooperation is also needed,” he stated.