Jakarta. The Indonesian government has rejected the claims of a separatist group which calls themselves the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, or ULMWP, a press release from the Foreign Ministry said on Friday (17/06).
“The ULMWP is a separatist movement in a sovereign state. The movement has no legitimacy and does not represent the people of West Papua,” the ministry's director general of Asia Pacific and Africa Desra Percaya said at the Ministerial Level Meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in Lautoka, Fiji, Thursday.
Desra in his statement made specific references to the ULMWP’s effort to upgrade its status from an observer group to a fully-fledged member of the MSG.
Intense lobbying from the Indonesian delegation had apparently foiled the ULMWP's move.
MSG merely noted ULMWP's proposal and formed a committee to discuss membership criteria, as some of its member states had proposed to have Indonesia instead as a full member of the MSG.
The Indonesian delegation also invited MSG member countries to attend the Bali Democracy Forum on Dec. 8-9 to discuss how to strengthen security cooperation in the Melanesian subregion.
Desra also met face-to-face with the foreign ministers of Fiji and the Solomon Islands, the head of the Papua New Guinea delegation and the director general of the MSG during the meeting.