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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 659

Papua provinces

Dear Mr Vasta

Thank you for your letter of 7 November 2016 regarding petition EN0024 on Indonesia's Papua provinces.

Australia has long recognised Indonesia's sovereignty over the two Papua provinces. This is a bipartisan position in Australia, underlined by the

2006 Lombok Treaty between Australia and Indonesia. Indonesian sovereignty is also widely recognised by the international community.

I have carefully noted the petition and am able to advise you that Australia does not plan to support efforts to place Indonesia's Papua provinces on the UN's decolonization list.

The Government condemns all violence in the Papua provinces. Our message to the Indonesian Government is clear - the rights of all citizens should be upheld and credible allegations of human rights abuses should be investigated.

Australian Embassy officials visit the Papua provinces regularly and engage a wide range of contacts, including civil society, NGOs and religious leaders. These visits inform our assessment of the situation on the ground, which we judge has improved in recent years, although clearly there are still problems to be addressed.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms Bishop