15 Apr 2015

MSG summit in May to discuss West Papua bid

8:55 pm on 15 April 2015

The chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Victor Tutugoro, says a special summit is planned for May 21st to examine the membership bid of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

The bid for membership was formally submitted to the MSG secretariat in February after an earlier attempt by the West Papuans was rejected because the MSG didn't consider the application to be representative of the Indonesian province.

Mr Tutugoro told Noumea's daily newspaper that he met a ULMWP leader, Rex Rumakiek, and has been invited to the Movement's planned Congress in Papua New Guinea.

According to the paper, an MSG foreign ministers' delegation is considering submitting to Jakarta the conclusion of the May meeting.

It also says Mr Tutugoro will soon travel to Fiji and PNG to discuss the application which will ultimately be decided at the MSG leaders summit in Solomon Islands later this year.

At the MSG summit in 2011, Indonesia was granted observer status.

Melanesian Spearhead Group chairman Victor Tutugoro

Melanesian Spearhead Group chairman Victor Tutugoro Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs