|Left: PNG PM Peter O'Neill meeting Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on West Papua issue|
“As Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and as current chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, I am maintaining ongoing dialogue with the Government of Indonesia and with President Joko Widodo,” he said.
“We will continue this dialogue in a respectful manner with a focus on building mutual understanding in relation to the safety and security of our millions of Melanesian brothers and sisters across our border.”
He said this after a meeting with Solomon Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Port Moresby where the issue was discussed.
Sogavare is visiting in his capacity as the chairman of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. O’Neill said PNG remained a strong supporter of the work of the MSG Secretariat located in Vanuatu.
“The work of MSG has to stay relevant for the people of the region,” O’Neill said.
They also discussed the disaster in Fiji following Cyclone Winston.
“The disaster from the cyclone in Fiji was widespread, and the region expresses its sympathies for the unfortunate loss of life,” he said.
“MSG, as well as the Pacific Islands’ Forum, and individual countries look to requests for assistance that will come from Fiji in the recovery phase of the disaster.
“For PNG, we will deliver any support direct to where it is needed, as has been the process with drought relief in PNG, instead of sending this through bureaucratic channels.” The National / ONE PNG