Sabtu , 04 Mei 2013, 21:57 WIB

British Ambassador: We regard Papua as part of Indonesia

Red: Yeyen Rostiyani
Reuters/Muhammad Yamin
Supporters of the Free Papua Movement carry the Morning Star independence flag during a flag-raising ceremony in the district of Paniai Timur in Papua on October 17, 2008. (file photo)
Supporters of the Free Papua Movement carry the Morning Star independence flag during a flag-raising ceremony in the district of Paniai Timur in Papua on October 17, 2008. (file photo)

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - British Ambassador to Indonesia, Mark Canning, welcomed the summon by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Joko Suyanto over Papuan issue. Canning empasized that the views of Oxford Council did not reflect Biritsh government views.

"I look forward to explaining our position on a subject, which we recognize is a sensitive one to the Indonesian Government. As we explained to the Indonesian Ambassador Mr Thayeb in London on Friday, the views of Oxford Council, and indeed Mr Wenda, should not be taken as reflecting those of the British Government," Canning said in a written statement obtained by Republika

The Council, the statement explained, like all councils in Britain, was free to support whatever causes it wished. The council is not part of British government and they are not directed in any way by the government.

"The views of the UK government are well known. We regard Papua as part of this country and want it to enjoy the same peace and prosperity as other parts of this nation," the statement said. 

Yet, Canning admitted that his government shared the sentiment expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pilay on Friday when she said that there were human rights concerns which need to be addressed. 

"I am of course aware that efforts are under way to try to improve this, as well as to address issues relating to economic and social development, and we fully support them. We keep in touch with all those who are trying to move Papua forward, including the new Governor, who I met last week," Canning stated.

Earlier, Papua Merdeka or Free Papuan opened a representative office in Oxford on April 28. The ceremony was attended by Mayor of Oxford Mohammed Niaz Abbasi, member of British Parlement Andrew Smith and former Mayor of Oxford Elise Benjamin. Indonesia considers the Free Papua movement is a separatist movement. 

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