By Sophie von der Tann
The opening of the Oxford headquarters of Indonesian separatist group Free West Papua has caused a rift between leading British diplomats and the Indonesian government.
Launched in 2004, the Free West Papua Campaign seeks independence from Indonesia for the indigenous people of West Papua. On its website the organisation describes itself as “a peaceful, public campaign, whose aim is very simple: to give the people of West Papua the freedom to choose their own destiny”.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa summoned British Ambassador Mark Canning to question him over the rise of the separatist group. In a statement issued prior to the meeting, Natalegawa argued that the opening of the office was “clearly incompatible and contrary to the friendly relations that have existed between the two countries”.
Canning said after the meeting: “The Minister conveyed to me in clear terms the strong concern of the Indonesian Government”.
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