The United Liberation Movement for West Papua says its bid to be a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group is still alive.
MSG leaders meeting in Port Moresby last week referred the Movement's application to the MSG secretariat for processing under new membership guidelines.
The Movement already has observer status but MSG leaders have been divided on whether to allow it full membership.
The chairman of the Movement, Benny Wenda, said he remained hopeful.
"I want to send my people a message to my people back home that this is another positive.
"Step by step, we are in the right dircetion, so please pray. We hope that the secretariat will discuss our application very soon, because we are dreaming to become full member," he said.