21 Feb 2013

Despite border issues, Singirok says PNG/Indonesia links strong

3:44 pm on 21 February 2013

A former head of Papua New Guinea's Defence Force says the country's relationship with Indonesia is cordial enough to work through issues about their common border.

The comment from Major General Jerry Singirok comes as PNG's cabinet ordered a deployment of troops to patrol and protect the border.

This follows tensions between PNG citizens living in the border area and the Indonesian military.

Major General Singirok says recent incidents have exposed PNG's inability to adequately manage the border.

"But the relationship between Indonesia and PNG is cordial. The actions by a few elements of the Indonesian military does not really reflect a breakdown in our relationship with Indonesia."

Major General Singirok says PNG's troop deployment should help ease the tensions.

But he admits that the construction of Indonesian military posts on PNG territory is a serious infringement which requires diplomatic action.