Anish Chand – The people of West Papua who are part of Indonesia are our kinsmen, says Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.
He said his appointment as Melanesian Spearhead Group special envoy to Indonesia wasn't to appease Fijians who were West Papua supporters.
"When the world looks at the Melanesian Spearhead Group, taking up the issue with the sovereign state of Indonesia, they would probably think we are partisan in what we are coming up with," said Mr Rabuka.
"The people of the Papua, part of Indonesia are our kinsmen – they are Melanesians so they could consider that our concern from the MSG is partisan.
"It is more aligned to the needs and wishes of the Melanesians of Indonesia. But if you go as leaders of a sovereign state, entrusted with the role of talking to the leadership of Indonesia that takes on a different profile, different optics."
The MSG leaders appointed Mr Rabuka and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape as special envoys to Indonesia at their meeting in Cook Islands yesterday.