15 Nov 2012

PNG assured Indonesian military not building up on border

3:43 pm on 15 November 2012

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says he has been assured by the President of Indonesia that it is not escalating its military presence near the common border.

This week, Indonesia's Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hosted bilateral talks with Mr O'Neill in Bali.

The two countries have agreed on a number of joint projects around the border areas in the oil, gas and electricity sectors.

Mr O'Neill says they had a genuine discussion on PNG government's concerns about rights abuses in Papua province.

He says he's not concerned over reports of Indonesian troop build-up in the far east of Papua province.

"The President has assured me, they are not increasing military activity in West Papua. In fact they are now slowly withdrawing military to allow for economic development on West Papua and so that they can empower and improve the living standards of our people there."

Peter O'Neill says he encouraged Indonesia to address human rights issues in Papua.