President Joko Widodo praised Papua New Guinea’s move to support the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia in his meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, the meeting took place on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
During the meeting Jokowi expressed his appreciation that Indonesia appreciates Papua New Guinea’s policy of recognizing West Papua as part of Indonesia. The recognition was expressed by Papua New Guinea at the Melanesian Summit at the end of August 2023 in Vanuatu.
“It is a pleasure to meet you again. I appreciate Papua New Guinea’s relationship to Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Jokowi told James Marape.
Including the support shown by Papua New Guinea at the Melanesian Group of Nations (MSG) summit last month. Jokowi’s statement has something to do with the incident when the Indonesian Delegation “Walk-Out” during the Melanesian Summit at the end of August 2023 in Vanuatu.
At that time the leader of the united movement for the liberation of West Papua or ULMWP Benny Wenda wanted to speak at the podium, to emphasize Indonesia’s foreign policy on sovereignty issues the Indonesian Delegation did not want to listen to Benny Wenda’s speech and chose to leave and it’s good that the ULMWP which consists of a combination of Papuan independence groups again failed to get full membership in the MSG.
MSG leaders closed the door to membership for ULMWP because it was deemed not to meet the existing criteria for becoming an MSG member, in addition to the need to review the initial agreement to form the MSG and mandate the secretariat to find ways how the MSG could build closer collaboration with the Indonesian government.
“By utilizing the Special Autonomy Arrangement to provide a special focus on the social, economic development and empowerment of the people of West Papua and Papua Province,” reads the MSG Summit decision document.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, while Indonesia was present as an associate member or allied country and ULMWP had observer status.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Bomanak who claims to be the chairman of OPM (Operation Free Papua) responded to the failure of ULMWP under the leadership of Benny Wenda. According to Jeffrey, the people have tried to do their part in the struggle but Benny Wenda made a fatal mistake.
“The people have succeeded and been able to do their part consistently on behalf of ULMWP full members in the MSG. However, the trust that the people give cannot be executed properly, there is only Benny Wenda’s fatal mistake who is unable to lead ULMWP. Benny Wenda must explain and be responsible to all Papuan people, “Jeffrey emphasized in a video on his Facebook Social Network Account.