Prime Minister Manasseh Damukana Sogavare. Photo credit: www.theepochtimes.com

Prime Minister Manasseh Damukana Sogavare. Photo credit: www.theepochtimes.com

Solomon Islands Special Envoy to West Papua has demonstrated Solomon Islands’ serious stand to bring the issue of West Papua to the attention of the leaders of the Forum, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Speaking to journalists in an interview Prime Minister Sogavare says Solomon Islands hopes leaders of the forum will accord West Papua an observer seat in the Forum.

“So it basically demonstrate the seriousness of Solomon Islands to bring it to the forefront because we have admitted them to the MSG level as an observer. We hope that we would accord them the same privilege to be observer status in PIF, but of course that will really depend on the leaders during the retreat.”

Prime Minister Sogavare also adds, three areas will be pursued.

“There are three areas we would like to look at. One of course is a membership than observer status and of course fact finding mission to West Papua. We acknowledge that the Forum will have a mechanism to do that so we will elevate that to the United Nations, so we will ask the United Nations to send a fact finding mission to West Papua.”

However, Fiji’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola says while Fiji’s position on West Papua is very clear, that they respect the territory integrity and sovereignty of Indonesia, Fiji will raiseits voice on human rights abuses against West Papuans.

“On West Papua our position is very clear, we’ve been saying that we respect the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Indonesia and we see West Papua as part of Indonesia, but as far as the human rights abuses Fiji will raise its voice here and at the UN, but I don’t know what’s coming up tomorrow at the retreat on West Papua.”

The Fiji Foreign Affairs Minister adds if the issues of West Papua is not addressed in this Leaders Forum Fiji will take West Papua’s human rights issues to the government of Indonesia.

“We take it up with Indonesia ourselves. The Vice Minister is here I’ll be meeting him soon and whenever we hear human rights abuses in West Papua we take it up with Indonesia because we have a good bilateral relationship with West Papua.”

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