HC Deb 09 September 2003 vol 410 cc323-4W
Jeremy Corbyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will urge the Indonesian Government to withdraw all non-West Papuan troops and Brimob special forces from West Papua. [127175]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The Indonesian Government are within their territorial rights to deploy Indonesian troops and police throughout their country to counter any aggressive external and internal threats. However, we have stressed to the Indonesian Government that any action undertaken in respect to their territorial rights must respect human rights and be in accordance with international law.

There are a number of areas in Indonesia where the levels of violence raise issues, including Papua. The origins of such conflicts vary and are complex: some are inter-ethnic or inter-religious while others may have economic causes. Our message to the Indonesian Government is clear and consistent: long-term stability can only be achieved through political negotiation and consultation within Indonesia. Together with our European partners, we are in regular, top-level dialogue with the Indonesian Government, and urge them to maintain law and order and promote reconciliation in order to ensure the territorial integrity of Indonesia.

We are implementing a strategy to tackle the causes of conflict and are working with EU and other partners to help Indonesia build capacity to analyse and respond effectively to outbreaks of violence.

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