1 Aug 2005

Stay out of Papua issue, Indonesian leader warns US

8:51 am on 1 August 2005

The Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, says the United States shouldn't interfere in the country's handling of the troubled province of Papua.

Speaking from China where he's been on a trade visit, Mr Yudhoyono said a recent move by the US Congress to approve a bill questioning the status of Papua, could create tension between the two countries.

The bill, which is tied to US military aid to Indonesia, would put pressure on the United States to press internationally for a vote on independence in Papua if it was passed.

It also questions the controversial 1969 Act of Free Choice that officially made Papua part of Indonesia.