Tkatchenko to discuss West Papua with Indonesia

Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko says there will be a dialogue with fellow Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, regarding West Papua during his trip to Indonesia.

He says the agenda will include discussions on Indonesia’s sovereignty, and their handling of the West Papuan issues and how these issues affect Papua New Guineans and the people of West Papua.

Tkatchenko says, “There’s been a lot of allegations about human rights issues that have been brought up with the Pacific Islands Forum and also with the governments, previous governments and governments of Papua New Guinea over many years.”

He added, “This Indonesian government is a proactive government and they (want to) make sure that Papua New Guinea understands what it’s doing about the West Papua issue.

Minister Tkatchenko says that if Indonesia needs PNG’s assistance or help with the issue, PNG stands ready.

The minister made two points. The first being that PNG respects the sovereignty of Indonesia, and the second is that PNG also respects the people of West Papua in Indonesia.

“We look forward in working with them for common understanding. A win-win situation going forward.

“This is not going to happen overnight. We have to start somewhere and PNG has an open door policy when it comes to our people of West Papua,” Tkatchenko stated.

Marysila Kellerton