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Date Posted: 18:09:01 06/18/04 Fri
Author: Vikki John
Subject: West Papua and Vanuatu

ABC: Wednesday, June 16, 2004. 8:09pm (AEST)
Vanuatu offers West Papuan peace talks
West Papuan pro-independence activists have welcomed the Vanuatu government's invitation for Indonesian and West Papuan representatives to meet in Port Vila.
The Indonesian province of Papua, also known as West Papua, has been the scene of a long running insurgency by the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, has indicated his government is open to the idea, but as yet there has been no formal response to Vanuatu's invitation.
Dr John Ondawame, from the West Papua People's Representative Office in Port Vila says it could be an historic meeting.
"The most important thing is in the peace process we need to, both conflicting parties should sit down on a negotiating table," he said.
"This is the first time in our history that the two parties agree to sit down together and the government of Vanuatu would like to facilitate this historical event, so we really appreciate the government of Vanuatu and the people of Vanuatu for this initiative."

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