3 Feb 2012

Indonesian President pledges to speed up Papua infrastructure

2:05 pm on 3 February 2012

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has pledged to speed up infrastructure development in Papua, following his latest meeting with Papuan church leaders.

The Jakarta Post reports that 13 church leaders attended the meeting at the State Palace.

They included a senior Jayapura Archdiocese official Father Neles Tebay, the Papua branch chair of the Evangelical Church Assembly Reverend Lipiyus Biniluk, and Reverend Isai Doom from the Tabernacle Pentecostal Church.

Indonesia's Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, who also attended, says the President listened to the church leaders' aspirations for Papua to be a peaceful region.

He has reportedly directed all relevant agencies to implement measures necessary to boost Papuan people's welfare, for example, establishing a more efficient shipping service.

The President has indicated there will also be accelerated inter-regency road construction across Papua's mountainous areas to reduce the high dependence on air transport.

Gamawan told reporters that the government has been pushing the House of Representatives to approve budgets.