Gov’t to Meet Malaysian and Philippine Foreign Ministers, Police Chiefs, Commanders

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 27 April 2016
Category: News
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Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung speaks to reporters

The Indonesian Government has taken an initiative to invite Malaysian and Philippine Foreign Ministers, chiefs of the police and commanders to visit Jakarta to discuss the efforts to strengthen border areas among Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The move was made based on the recent incidents of hijacking that occurred more frequently in the area.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung explained that through a meeting among Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine Foreign Ministers, police chiefs and commanders, an understanding to keep peace in the territories is expected to be established.

Thus, once an attempt to take hostages reoccurs, the three countries would be able to take joint preventive measures.

However, Pramono asserted that according to the explanation from President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, the Indonesian Government will continue to make efforts to release 14 Indonesian nationals held hostage by a militant group in the Philippines.

“However, we cannot disclose these efforts to the public,” Pramono said to the reporters at the Presidential Office, Jakarta, on Tuesday (26/4) afternoon.

Regarding the location of the hostages, considering that a Canadian hostage has been killed by the militants after the ransom deadline has expired, Pramono explained that the Government knows the locations of both 14 Indonesian nationals who are being held hostage. “We know it because now it is easy to get the information,” Pramono said.

Asked whether the perpetrators behind the abduction came from the same terrorist network, namely Abu Sayyaf, Pramono confirmed that it is true. However, Pramono added that there are some factions in the militant group that cannot be informed to the public about their existence and members.

Previously, responding to reporters’ questions at the State Palace, on Tuesday (26/4), President Jokowi said that the Government is still communicating with the Philippine Government as well as the perpetrators and the problem is expected to be solved immediately.

“We certainly want them to release the hostages, but we must realize that the incident happened in other country. We must obtain permits to enter their territory or to assign Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) there,” President Jokowi said to the reporters at the State Palace, Jakarta on Tuesday (26/4).

President Jokowi also reminded that the Philippine Government must also obtain approval from the parliament and this, the President added, puts Indonesia at disadvantages.

Therefore, the President said, the Indonesian Government continues to communicate with the Philippine Government through any network that the Government has.

“Up until now, the hostages are in good condition,” President Jokowi firmly said.

Asked about the possibility to pay ransom demanded by the militant group, President Jokowi asserted that Indonesia would never compromise with such a thing.

“It is nothing to do with ransom,” the President added. (FID/RAH/ES)(RAS/EP//YM/Naster)

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