7 Oct 2002

New Zealand not likely to mediate in Indonesia's Papua conflict

4:38 pm on 7 October 2002

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Phil Goff says Indonesia is unlikely in the short term to take up an offer for New Zealand to mediate between Jakarta and independence activists in Papua province.

Mr Goff put the offer to the Indonesian government during the inaugural meeting of the Southwest Pacific Dialogue in Yogyakarta at the weekend.

He says the suggestion New Zealand mediate had come from a Papuan activist during a visit to Wellington, but he says Jakarta was luke warm.

"mediation or assistance can only work if both parties are keen for that to happen. They did not rule it out but equally I think that it's fair to say they didn't express great enthusiasm for an outside country being involved in what they see essentially as a domestic affair"

Phil Goff.

He says New Zealand is encouraging the independence movement to embrace the opportunities presented with the granting of autonomy earlier this year.