Foreign Affairs Minister Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi to Discuss Rakhine Humanitarian Crisis

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 4 September 2017
Category: News
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President Jokowi delivers a press statement at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Sunday (3/9). (Photo by: Public Relations Division/Nia)

President Jokowi delivers a press statement at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Sunday (3/9). (Photo by: Public Relations Division/Nia)

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi on Monday (4/9) local time met with Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at Myanmar Presidential Office in Myanmar Capital Nay Pyi Taw.

During the meeting, Retno Marsudi, who was assigned by Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said she came to Myanmar to bring a mandate from the Indonesian people who have a great concern about humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State. The Minister also said that the visit was aimed at offering Indonesia’s assistance to address the crisis.

“I also travel to Myanmar to express the voice of the international community so that humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State can be immediately addressed,” Retno said as quoted from the press release of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently.

Retno also directly conveyed to Aung San Suu Kyi a proposal from the Indonesian Government called 4+1 Formula to address the crisis. The four elements in the Formula are stability and security, maximum self-restraint and refrain from violence, protection for everyone in Rakhine State regardless of ethnicities and religions, and the importance to open access for humanitarian aids.

“The first four elements are main elements that must be immediately realized to prevent this humanitarian crisis and security crisis from taking a turn for the worse,” Retno said, adding that another element is the importance to immediately implement recommendations based on the report from the Advisory Commission for Rakhine State led by Kofi Annan.

In the meantime, press release of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reported that one important outputs of this Indonesia’s humanitarian diplomacy mission is the agreement allows Indonesia and ASEAN countries to be involved in the channeling of humanitarian aids in Rakhine State. “The mechanism of the distribution of aids is led by the Myanmar Government but it also involves the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and several countries including Indonesian and ASEAN countries,” the press release said.

In the meantime, in distributing the aids, Indonesia always stressed that the aids must be received by those who need them, without exception, regardless of their faiths and ethnicities.

Regarding the implementation of recommendations based on the report from the Advisory Commission for Rakhine State, according to the press release, the Myanmar Government has also established an implementation committee and an advisory board to supervise for the implementation of the recommendations.

During the meeting, Retno also expressed care and high commitment of Indonesian non-government organizations for Myanmar. In relation to this, Retno said that on 31 August this year Indonesia launched the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar (AKIM), which consists of 11 humanitarian organizations that prioritize their aids on four matters, namely education, health, livelihood. and relief.  The Minister further said that aids provided by the Alliance are worth US$2 million.

“I hope that the Myanmar Government can continue providing access for the AKIM because it has so far worked with the Indonesian Government in implementing a number of programs,” Retno said.

In addition to meeting with State Counsellor, Retno also met with several Myanmar ministers, including Myanmar National Security Advisor and Myanmar Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss technical issues related to the mechanism of humanitarian aids to be distributed by the Myanmar Government. “Our mission to Myanmar has at least reached two outputs namely: expressing a great concern from Indonesian people about humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State and the commitment of the Myanmar Government to immediately address the humanitarian crisis. In addition, Indonesia has also been given access in the mechanism of the distribution of humanitarian aids led by the Myanmar Government and will involve the ICRC,” Retno concluded. (Kemlu RI/ES) (EP/YM/Naster) 

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