The Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government does not have a policy on the West Papua issue, says Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela.
Prime Minister Houenipwela revealed at a recent media conference in Honiara.
Asked if the West Papua issue was discussed during his bilateral talks with the Indonesian President at the sidelines of last month’s APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, Mr Houenipwela confirmed it was never discussed.
He said the Government does not have any policy on the issue of West Papua just like it does for other aboriginal groups.
“At the moment that’s the government’s position. We don’t have a policy on it just as I said we don’t have a policy on the aborigines, we don’t have a policy on the Maoris, we don’t have a policy on aborigines in Taiwan, we don’t have a policy on West Papua.
“You see there is a lot of confusion also when you talk about West Papua, are you referring to Melanesians? West Papua only comprises of less than 800,000 people; the Melanesians in Indonesia is 13 million so when people talk about West Papua who are you actually referring to?”
The Prime Minister added, the West Papua issue is complicated and pursuing it can only jeopardize the bilateral relations already enjoyed by Solomon Islands and Indonesia.
“What we take is that we don’t need such complications to spoil our bilateral relations with a country that has a lot to offer to Solomon Islands. I am for the national interest, that’s the only thing I am going after and what I have.
“What I seek on these trips is to see what I can get from these relationships as I also mentioned on the floor of Parliament, that’s my main aim”.
By: Rickson Bau