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Statement by British Ambassador on Free West Papua office

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Following the summon of British Ambassador Mark Canning re the opening of Free West Papua office in Oxford, here is our latest statement.

Statement by British Ambassador on 6 May 2013:

I was summoned to see His Excellency the Foreign Minister this morning.

The Minister conveyed to me in clear terms the strong concern of the Indonesian Government at the opening of a Free West Papua (OPM) office in Oxford.

I explained to the Minister that we recognised the sensitivity of this issue for Indonesia.

The position of British government on this matter is quite clear.

We respect the territorial integrity of Indonesia and do not support calls for Papuan independence.

The British Government did not support the opening of an OPM office in Oxford. Such an office does not require our permission to open, and does not therefore reflect the British Government’s views. We regard Papua as being part of Indonesia. That has always been our view, and has not changed.

We also support the effort of those, like the Presidential Unit for Development Acceleration in Papua and West Papua (UP4B), who are trying to address the problems of Papua and hope to see it enjoy the same level of peace, stability and prosperity as the other parts of this nation. I made these points to Governor Lukas Enembe when we met last week.

We believe that the Indonesian government is genuinely committed to addressing the problems in that region and hope that the efforts will bear fruit