Edward Natapei, Minister of Foreign Affair of Vanuatu (Jubi)
Jayapura, 16/1 (Jubi) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, Edward Natapei, admitted that, after the ministerial mission to Indonesia, the chance for the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) to become a member of Melenesia Spearhead Group (MSG) is increasingly difficult.
The visit of three ministers of Melanesian Countries is regarded as the mission’s failure by Vanuatu. “It was clear in Noumea, towards the MSG’s leaders and the Government of Indonesia, Vanuatu have stated to be participated if the mission involved the civilians in West Papua. In that mission, we will also obtained the opportunity to speak with the civil society, the church leaders and the individuals who are very concern to the human rights violation in West Papua,” said Natapei to Jubi by phone, Thursday (16/1).
Because of the Government of Indonesia ignored what have been expressed by Vanuatu, Vanuatu then decided to withdraw its participation from the mission. Natapei said, just one day before the mission, Vanuatu was informed that the agenda of visit would not include the meeting with the civil society but to promote the economic and development partnership. Natapei said that the mission agenda has been hijacked by the Government of Indonesia. “We aware that the Government of Indonesia is actually hijack the agenda with putting the other issue in order to promote the economic relationship and the development partnership with the Government of Indonesia. We felt that we were already failing in this mission,” explained Natapei.
The failure of this mission, further according to Natape, will make the opportunity of WPNCL to become the MSG’s member would be more difficult. However, the Government of Vanuatu will not give up to fight for the rights of Melanesians in West Papua. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu, MSG can invite the West Papua leaders to meet in a certain place to get the clarification on the mission result that would be reported by the 3 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Melanesian Countries who visit Indonesia a few days ago. “MSG can invite the Papuan Leaders to meet in a certain place to clarify their visit.” Said Natapei. But he does not explain further when and where the meeting will be done.
Three Minister who visit Indonesia are the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Papua New Guinea, Pimbink Pato, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Partnership of Fiji, HE Ratu Inoke Kubuakaboka and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trading of Solomon Island, Ciay Forau, as reported by several national media, have signed the joint agreement with the Government of Indonesia. “We respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs in accordance to the UN Charter,” according the joint statement of delegation of MSG and Indonesia published in several national media, Wednesday (15/1).
While related to Vanuatu’s withdrawal from the mission, the Government of Indonesia was reluctant to give more comments. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa, said that Vanuatu is often changing its attitude. “About Vanuatu, I think Vanuatu should explain about their position. Because sometime the position of Vanuatu can change from one government to another government and we are ready to communicate,” said Marty, as published by the national media. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/P. Maizier)