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Kamis, 13 Juni 2013

PNG, Indonesia to discuss human rights

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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill will discuss an extradition treaty and human rights with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta on the weekend.

Mr O'Neill will lead a 100-strong delegation of business leaders and government officials on a three-day visit to Jakarta in a visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between the neighbouring countries.

At a press conference in Port Moresby on Thursday, Mr O'Neill said he was concerned about reports of human rights abuses in West Papua, "but as I've said we have a policy that the issue of West Papua is an integral part of Indonesia".

"We are encouraged by the invitation by the Indonesian government, through its president and for the first time in history, asking PNG to help with some of those issues on the ground in West Papua.

"We are going to positively discuss many of those issues, including those reports of human rights abuses, with the president and the Indonesian government."

Indonesia has been criticised for its brutal suppression of West Papua's independence movement.
PNG's growing social media communities are frequently used as platforms for West Papua Independence supporters, who post graphic images of human rights abuses reportedly committed by Indonesia.

Earlier this year PNG sent a taskforce to investigate reports of clashes between PNG traders and villagers and Indonesian troops.

Affirming the strong relationship between PNG and Indonesia, Mr O'Neill said both nations would strengthen police ties and announced cabinet approval for an extradition treaty with Indonesia.

PNG's national airliner, Air Niugini, is expected to make its first flights to Jakarta in August.
Mr O'Neill said opening routes to Port Moresby with Indonesian airline Garuda will also be on the agenda.

PNG and Indonesia are both expected to send delegations to the 19th Melanesia Spearhead Group Leader's summit in New Caledonia next week.

On the agenda at this year's meeting in New Caledonia is a decision on whether to admit West Papua to the MSG

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