UK Hansard on Papua 24 Jun 2008 : Column 284W

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in West Papua. [213491]

Meg Munn: We believe that the complex issues in Papua can best be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the people of Papua, their elected representatives and the central government of Indonesia. Indonesian President Yudhoyono has committed his government to improving the situation in Papua, which we welcome. Vice President Kalla, along with a team of ministers, visited Papua most recently in February to discuss economic and social development with representatives of the Papuan people. Governor Suebu, of Papua province, is pressing ahead with his social and economic development programmes, underpinned by the significant financial resources now being directed to Papua as a result of its special autonomy status.Our embassy in Jakarta follows the situation in Papua closely. They are in regular contact with human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations and academics working in the region. Embassy staff visit Papua regularly.

We continue to encourage all sides to maintain a meaningful dialogue that focuses on implementing fully the existing Special Autonomy legislation. We judge that this is the best way to ensure the long-term stability and development of Papua and its people.

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking through the EU to encourage the Indonesian government to enter into internationally-mediated dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan people. [213492]

Meg Munn: We believe that the complex issues in Papua can best be resolved through peaceful dialogue between the people of Papua and their central government. Indonesian President Yudhoyono has committed his government to improving the situation in Papua, which we welcome.

We continue to encourage all sides to support meaningful dialogue and to focus on implementing fully the existing Special Autonomy legislation. We judge that this is the best way to ensure the long-term stability and development of Papua and its people. We do not have any plans with our EU partners to pursue an internationally mediated dialogue on Papua. We support the territorial integrity of Indonesia and do not support calls for independence for Papua.

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