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Home » , , , » Indonesian minister on Papua conflict: 'We get it'

Indonesian minister on Papua conflict: 'We get it'

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on September 29, 2011 | 4:15 AM

NEW YORK - Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Tuesday that his government was fully aware of problems in restive Papua and was working to find a way to deliver autonomy.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Natalegawa said that Indonesia has listened to human rights groups and sought ways to address legitimate concerns since the country embraced democracy in the 1990s.
"The key thing here, to all our international interlocutors, friends, and (those) both critical as well as supportive: We get it," Natalegawa said.
He said that the two provinces of Papua "need special attention, special empowerment. Autonomy is the way to go."

"But when there are problems," he said, "let's address them in an inclusive way and problem-solving way rather than simply creating more challenges ahead."
Indonesia took over Papua in 1969 and has since faced a low-level insurgency. Human Rights Watch says that Indonesian forces have killed civilians and imprisoned peaceful activists.
Indonesia in 2001 introduced autonomy in Papua - a vast, mineral-rich province that shares an island with Papua New Guinea - but local activists say that the implementation has been half-hearted and not improved their rights.
Natalegawa stressed to his audience that Indonesia was open to change, saying that its positions at the UN Security Council on issues including North Korea and Myanmar has gradually evolved.
Natalegawa said, without further details, that the government was considering its positions on Iran and human rights-related issues including capital punishment
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