A one-year moratorium has been placed on Indonesia’s application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Prime Minister James Marape said this was so that Pacific Island Forum could address the West Papua issue and specifically human rights allegations in the province.

Marape also said that the MSG received interest from Australia, France and Indonesia to join the group.

He explained that a date has not yet been set, but a group of leaders from the MSG would visit the Indonesia to raise the West Papua issue.

“Representatives of all current member countries will make this visit and see for ourselves if the allegations of human rights abuse are true or not,” Marape said.

“We must also understand that every country has its own law and order issues, so we will be visiting Indonesia, to put to rest this issue, before we can start discussing Indonesia’s application to join the MSG.

“The MSG comes under the Pacific Islands Forum.”

Marape also said that the MSG agreed on a one-year moratorium on the applications of other countries who had showed an interest in joining the group, which included, Australia and France.

Meanwhile, the three countries, Australia, China and France attended the recently concluded MSG as guests.