15 Aug 2005

Melanesian Spearhead Group to meet in Goroka

10:57 am on 15 August 2005

Creating a regional security force in the Pacific is on the agenda for discussion at a meeting of Melanesian leaders in Papua New Guinea that gets underway today.

But the chairman of the MSG Interim Secretariat, Johnny Koanapo says at this stage the topic of the Indonesian province of Papua is not on the agenda for the senior officials segment.

He says it might be something the leaders want to discuss amongst themselves.

And he says the Interim Secretariat has recieved nothing yet about Indonesia' s request to be granted observer status.

"It may have gone through the Papua New Guinea government but that's something that needs to be discussed and agreed upon by the leaders. If Indonesia has requested observer status, or even West Papua, that is something that needs to be agreed upon by the meeting."