Samoa says it will be looking into supporting a West Papua request for membership in the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Samoa Observer reports that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi made the assurances to the general secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octovianus Mote last week.
Mr Mote who the Observer reports is in Fiji this week to lobby for support ahead of West Papua’s upcoming bid for membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group also met with Tautua leaders and the Council of Churches in Samoa who also expressed their full support for West Papua.
According to Mr Mote, when West Papua gained independence in 1961, Samoa was one of the few countries represented at the celebrations.
Speaking to the Observer, Mr Mote said that the population of indigenous West Papuans, which was once 1.5 million, is down by 48 percent and his people are a minority in their our land.
He said should the trend continue, in 2020, the population will be less than 23 percent.