Solomons PM says his govt want nothing to do with West Papua

5:20 pm on 3 December 2018
Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands..

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.. Photo: RNZ/Pacific Koroi Hawkins

The Solomon Islands prime minister Rick Hou says his government wants nothing to do with West Papua.

In his most public comments on the subject to date the Solomon Star reported Mr Hou saying West Papua was a domestic one issue for Indonesia to deal with.

This was in response to questions from local journalists asking whether West Papua was discussed during his meeting with Indonesia's president Joko Widodo on the fringes of the recent APEC leaders meeting.

Mr Hou likened the plight of West Papuans to that of the indigenous peoples of New Zealand Australia.

He said Solomon Islands had no policy on West Papua so it is a non-issue for his government and he did not discuss it with Mr Widodo.

The Solomon Islands prime minister's stance is in direct contrast with his predecessor and now deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare who championed the cause for self-determination for West Papuans and who regularly urged world leaders not to turn a blind eye to alleged atrocities committed by Indonesia's security forces in the region.

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