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Australian deputy PM says no support for Free Papua Movement

Tempo - February 24, 2024

Bagus Pribadi and Savero Aristia Wienanto, Jakarta – Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles emphasized that his country does not support the Free Papua Movement. Marles made the statement during a meeting with the Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto on Friday, February 23, 2024.

"We, Australia, fully recognize Indonesia's territorial sovereignty. We do not endorse any independence movement," he said at a press conference at the Defense Ministry's office in Central Jakarta.

Marles went on to explain that Australia fully backed the sovereignty of the border provinces that remain an integral part of Indonesia. He declined to elaborate on the talks with Prabowo. But on border areas, he said human trafficking and smuggling were among the highlights of the meeting, given that these issues pose a shared challenge for both nations.

"This is a common challenge for both countries and we need to work together to address it. At present, the exact steps we take are up to us," Marles said, expressing his gratitude for the robust cooperation between the two countries.

During the meeting, Marles also extended his congratulations to Prabowo Subianto on his provisional lead in the 2024 presidential election.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1837169/australian-deputy-pm-says-no-support-for-free-papua-movemen