MSG To Conduct Special Meeting Regarding West Papua

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Chairman mum on details, but meeting to be held in Port Vila

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 21, 2014) - The Chairperson of the Melanesian Spearhead Group says a special MSG meeting will be held in Vanuatu next month over the issue of West Papua.

Victor Tutugoro, who is also spokesperson of the FLNKS in New Caledonia, has not elaborated on the agenda but says the meeting will take place in Port Vila in the middle of next month.

Foreign ministers from PNG, Fiji, and Solomon Islands took part in an MSG mission to Indonesia and Papua last week, which was meant to discover more about the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, which wants to become a full member of the MSG.

Vanuatu's foreign minister, Edward Natapei, pulled out because the itinerary did not include meetings with groups concerned about alleged human rights abuses in West Papua.

Mr Natapei said the MSG might have to meet West Papuan civil society leaders elsewhere.

Radio New Zealand International hasn't been able to get confirmation from the secretariat of the MSG about the meeting.

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