GREENS SENATOR SAYS AUSTRALIA SHOULD ATTEND WEST PAPUA CONGRESS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (April 20, 2000 - Radio Australia/Pasifik Niuswire)---An Australian Senator has called for Australia to attend the second National Congress of West Papua.

Greens Party Senator Bob Brown says West Papua, or Irian Jaya, has finalized details of the weeklong meeting in Jayapura, starting on May 29.

He says Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid will open the Congress.

Senator Brown says it's a critical meeting for human rights in West Papua. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend.

He said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer should go to the Congress or send a nominee.

The Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra says the deputy head of Australia's embassy in Jakarta, Les Rowe, visited West Papua last week.

The Department says it's not planning another such visit in the near future.

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