Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) visited Indonesia's Papua and observed that the easternmost region of the country is generally in a stable and conducive region, allowing its people's socio-economic activities run properly.

Usman Kansong, Head of Indonesia's Task Force for Public Communication on Papua's Welfare, lauded MSG Director General Leonard Louma and Executive Advisor Christopher Nisbert for having a first hand review of the efforts made by the Indonesian government to develop the region.

"Their visit constitutes a positive step and deserves an appreciation, as two MSG leaders directly witnessed the real condition in the Land of Bird of Paradise," he noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Director General Louma and Executive Adviser Nisbert during a visit to Jayapura City, Papua Province, on Monday (June 17) commended the real condition in the region.

The two figures shared the same view that Indonesia, an associate member of the MSG, had been demonstrating good practices in the management of its border areas.

They said it would be better for MSG member states to emulate the steps taken by Indonesia to properly manage borders in an effort to thwart illegal activities, such those recurring in the borders between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

Moreover, the two Melanesian figures noted that they view Indonesia's major role in the ASEAN as determinant and crucial to the interests of MSG member states.

Director General Louma remarked that he would endorse plantation cooperation among MSG states by involving Indonesia in various projects, including a vanilla plantation program in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

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Standing among the world's largest vanilla producers alongside Papua New Guinea, Indonesia can help MSG states penetrate ASEAN's vanilla market, he said, adding that the MSG genuinely seeks to boost Indonesia's involvement in the Melanesian sub-region.

Louma also made the most of his visit to Papua to explore educational cooperation potential between the MSG and Indonesia. In this regard, the two parties aimed for exchanges of pupils, college students, and lecturers.

Meanwhile, an Expert Staff at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Theo Litaay opined that the visit of MSG's representatives to Indonesia would bring positive impacts on the sub-region's economic, socio-cultural, and political aspects.

"Cooperation in this sub-region can stimulate economic growth in the Pacific as a whole. Countries in this sub-region will be able to take advantage of Southeast Asia's economic growth and use it as a catalyst for their development," he remarked.

Earlier, the MSG delegation arrived in an area bordering Papua Province's Skouw and Papua New Guinea's Wutung at 10 a.m. local time after taking a road trip from Port Moresby.

The entourage was then personally greeted by Indonesian Consul Alexander Tangkuman in the Skouw Cross-border Post.

Officials from Papua Province's Border and Cooperation Agency then picked up Louma and Nisbert to continue their trip to Jayapura City to have a first hand impression on Papua's development.

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Translator: Livia K, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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