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VANUATU: Indonesian cyclone aid has 'no bearing' on Papua issue, says Kilman


Vanuatu Foreign Minister Kilman ... controversial "forged'" Jakarta agreement three years ago. Image: Asia-Pacific/ANU

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Item: 9213

PORT VILA (Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch): The Vanuatu government says the Indonesian government's relief assistance will have no bearing on the West Papuan bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Minister Sato Kilman said he personally received the Cyclone Pam aid relief donations from a delegation from Indonesia last week.

Kilman was Prime Minister of Vanuatu in 2012 when the government controversially forged a cooperation agreement with Jakarta, although subsequent configurations of government have stepped back from closer links.

However, the Foreign Minister said that at this stage, Vanuatu would welcome assistance from any country.

"In my view it had nothing to do with the West Papuan issue, Vanuatu has diplomatic relations with Jakarta and this is a humanitarian issue and whoever has the heart to be able to give and donate to Vanuatu to help this reconstruction. It's a welcoming thing for Vanuatu."

- Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid for membership will be considered at the MSG leaders summit in Solomon Islands later this year.

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