STRENGTHENING RELATIONS WAY TO DISCUSS WEST PAPUA: ETE

Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during her courtesy visit on Saturday. Photo credit: GCU.

Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during her courtesy visit on Saturday. Photo credit: GCU.

Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete says strengthening relations with Indonesia will provide room for further discussions at the bilateral level on issues in West Papua.

Hon. Ete made this statement to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi during her visit to Honiara last Saturday.

Mr Ete said Solomon Islands respects the bilateral cooperation between the two countries and the 1969 UN Resolution on West Papua.

He said any issues pertaining to West Papua will be best addressed through the bilateral cooperation arrangements between the two countries.

He said this approach is important since recent collective efforts by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) were split between member countries.

Solomon Islands took a general policy approach regarding the issue of Human Rights in West Papua.

Meanwhile the Deputy Prime Minister said, Solomon Islands condemn all human rights violations in the world and believing all human rights issues are best addressed by the Geneva Based Human Rights Council.

He said Solomon Islands recognized the importance of ensuring, human rights are addressed universally with objectivity and non-selectivity of human rights issues.

He adds approach taken is to avoid the tendency of focusing on human right abuses only when the media spotlight is on a certain country.

In 1969, a United Nations Resolution was held, in the form of an Act of Free Choice and the outcome was for West Papua (Irian Jaya) to remain with Indonesia.

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