West Papua says it wants more interaction with members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.
The intention was relayed yesterday to the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare in Honiara by the visiting General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, Octovinius Mote.
Mr Mote told Prime Minister Sogavare that West Papua would like to see more contacts in sports, especially in soccer with their Melanesian brothers in PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia.
He said West Papua would be interested in joining the Melanesian Cup soccer competition.
Mr Mote said as a start, West Papua would also like to send young West Papuans to study at the Solomon Islands National University in Honiara and in educational institutions in Vanuatu.
He added at a later date, students from West Papua could also be sent to study in PNG and Fiji.
Mr Mote is leading a three-member delegation of the ULMOWP to observe the Pacific Islands Development Forum Summit which begins in Honiara tomorrow (July 12).
By George Atkin,
OPMC Press Secretariat