28 May 2005

Opposition to Indonesian desire to join Melanesian Spearhead Group

8:12 am on 28 May 2005

The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre has voiced strong opposition to indications Indonesia wants to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Indonesia's Ambassador to Vanuatu, Imron Cotan, used last week's visit to Port Vila to suggest Indonesia becomes a member of the regional grouping.

Mr Cotan said that with 12 million Melanesians in Indonesia, it's only logical for his country to be included in the group.

But the the PCRC's Rex Rumakiek says the idea of Indonesia joining the group is totally wrong.

"The only agenda that Indoesia would push through that forum is to make sure that the independent countries of Melanesia won't support the idea of independence for West Papua. I think that's the only agenda they're interested in. There is no economic or any other interest that encourages them to be a member."