M.S.G CHAIR MEETS PM SOGAVARE AHEAD OF JULY SUMMIT

PM Sogavare and his Deputy Secretary Mr Derek Futaiasi posing with the MSG Chair Mr Tutugoro (at PM’s right) and his delegation after their discussions. Photo credit: OPMC.

PM Sogavare and his Deputy Secretary Mr Derek Futaiasi with the MSG Chair Mr Tutugoro and his delegation after their discussions. Photo credit: OPMC.

Chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Victor Tutugoro has met with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, in the lead up to July’s MSG summit in Honiara.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare this week received the MSG Chair prior to the summit proper.

According to a Government Press Release, Mr Tutugoro wants to discuss a few issues with Prime Minister Sogavare as the next Chair of the MSG.

The issues include the need for a special meeting prior to the summit proper to discuss West Papua’s new application for MSG membership, and a possible mission by MSG Foreign Affairs Ministers to Jakarta to announce the outcomes of that special summit.

He also discussed the importance of convening a dialogue between West Papua and Jakarta on issues relating to West Papua.

The MSG Chair said West Papua’s application for membership was rejected last year on grounds that the West Papua National Council for Liberation Front did not represent Melanesians in West Papua and Papua Provinces; and did not have the support of people in the two provinces.

Meanwhile, in his response Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said he agrees on a special summit must be held to consider West Papua’s application for MSG membership.

The Prime Minister adds, he acknowledges the individual positions of MSG countries on the issue of self-determination for West Papua but is keen to see MSG members take a collective position on the matter.

The Prime Minister also said it would be good for MSG to have a collective position on this issue.

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