Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – October 15, 2019: 10am (NBC NEWS PNG): Papua New Guinea will stand ready to welcome refugees from West Papua if they decide to seek refuge in the country.
Prime Minister James Marape made these remarks in Parliament on Friday when responding to a series of questions by Opposition Leader Belden Namah on the Government’s stance on West Papua’s ongoing conflicts and alleged human rights abuses.
“Let me announce to the world, if refugee situations happen, we are Melanesians we are prepared to burn our last toea to accept refugees into our country.
“That is if they come, we are Melanesians our hospitality remains even to our own cost we will take care of them.
“But in the first instance whatever happens on the other side of the border belongs to the Indonesian government, it is their responsibility we can only advise and we can only raise concerns from this side,” said PM Marape.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Marape further said PNG will respect Indonesia’s sovereignty and not interfere in its affairs.
He said PNG’s foreign policy has always been ‘Friends to all and enemy to none.’
Marape said apart from supporting the call during the recent Pacific Islands Forum, for an independent investigation into allegations of human rights abuses, he’s personally summoned the Indonesian Ambassador to PNG for a briefing and conveyed his dissatisfaction on the ongoing unrests.
“As far as a responsibility to the greater international neighborhoods that we have, we remitted that concern through the diplomatic channel across the Palace in Jakarta and the Palace has heard our concerns.
“The response we got from Indonesia was that the President is interfacing more with the people in West Papua.
“In fact, he has made one known trip to West Papua since the incident has happened to sit down and start this engagement with the Councils and Chiefs there which is going,” Marape told Parliament…. PACNEWS