12 Aug 2013

Prosperity to reduce military problem in West Papua, says PNG Foreign Minister

4:49 am on 12 August 2013

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says economic growth and development of the area along the Indonesian border will mitigate the problem of militarisation in West Papua.

The governments of PNG and Indonesia recently entered a number of joint infrastructure and resource projects along the common border.

Rimbink Pato says PNG's relationship with Indonesia has changed and areas of common concern can now be handled more effectively.

While the Indonesian military maintains a heavy presence across the border, Mr Pato says the core issue for West Papuans is the lack of development and prosperity.

"And we are jointly working together on a programme or plan of action where the border peoples will prosper, will benefit and they will enjoy living in security, which will mean that obvisouly the Indonesian government will be able to rein in the military."

PNG's Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato