Honiara – The newly elected Prime Minister of Manasseh Sogavare, who was once a staunch supporter of West Papuan independence said that, he would take a more friendly approach to this problem.
He responded to questions about the foreign policy of his government regarding West Papua during his first press conference on Wednesday (04/24).
This happened after he [Sogavare] received a call from the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby [PNG] to congratulate him on his victory.
Sogavare told reporters that his government would be more actively involved with Indonesia in issues surrounding human rights violations in West Papua.
“The Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby [PNG] just called me and said they were looking forward to a friendly dialogue and consultation on the West Papua issue as a friendly neighbor,” Sogavare said.
He clarified that, at the initial stage when he was standing (position) as Prime Minister and also as Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) it was because of the position taken by the MSG so far.
“Well there is nothing stopping each Melanesian State from having their own foreign policy on West Papua issues but it would be great if we consider it a collective body to combat human rights violations,” Sogavare said.
He added, this is a sad story when 600,000 Melanesians died, all because their rights were suppressed.
He further added that as a coalition government he would certainly discuss this issue with their partners and come up with a friendly way to overcome the problems of the Melanesian brothers in West Papua. (Solomon Star News / Andrew Fanasia)