Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has assured the people of West Papua that his government will support its bid to join the MSG as an Observer.
The Prime Minister has, however, reiterated the need to grant such recognition to one united group, and the need to consult Indonesia should West Papua seek full membership.
Below is the full official statement.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER MANASSEH SOGAVARE
I hereby make this official announcement on behalf of the Sovereign State of Solomon Islands on the application by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for Membership of the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG). The Cabinet, in exercising its decision-making mandate on behalf of the people of Solomon Islands, agreed that:
1. Solomon Islands Government will endorse West Papua to be an Observer of the MSG and this Observer Status is given only to one united group.
2. Solomon Islands Government will agree that any submission for full membership to the MSG by a group representing Melanesians in Indonesia must be united and done in consultation with Indonesia as agreed by MSG Leaders in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
3. Solomon Islands Government will encourage MSG to continue to explore avenues for Indonesia in its interest to be an Associated Member of MSG within the guidelines approved by Leaders in 2012.
4. Solomon Islands Government will engage with all MSG stakeholders in communicating the above positions.
The above mentioned positions had been made in light of the need to enhance Melanesian solidarity, values, continuity and maintain good neighbourliness.
Geopolitics and international commerce aside, these resolutions are founded on Christian principles which form the bedrock of our National Constitution. They also recognise the need to create international space for Melanesians seeking the inalienable rights and freedoms they sought to achieve through peaceful co-existence.
Hon Manasseh. D. Sogavare MP