Indonesia maintains its stance on Syria following pressure from US and its allies

Retno Marsudi wears a scarf adorned with Palestinian and Indonesian flags, on the sidelines of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum, last year. Envoys from the US, the UK and France asked to meet Indonesia’s Foreign Minister and requested that Indonesia add its voice to those condemning the Assad regime, in Syria. (Reuters)
Updated 22 April 2018
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Indonesia maintains its stance on Syria following pressure from US and its allies

  • The three Western countries’ ambassadors conveyed their views on Syria, while Marsudi reiterated Indonesia’s position issued last week after the strike, which underlines the need for all parties to respect international laws and norms.
  • Indonesia “strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons by any parties in Syria” and called on all parties to show restraint and prevent an escalation of the deteriorating situation.

Jakarta: Indonesia said its position remains the same after the US, the UK and France called on it to join forces in pressuring Syria’s Assad regime about its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Envoys from the three countries on Thursday asked to meet Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and requested that the country go further in its stance on Assad’s regime.

Arrmanatha Nasir, Foreign Ministry spokesman, told journalists on Friday that Indonesia was deeply concerned about developments in Syria after the US and its allies’ missile strikes.

Nasir said during the meeting that the three Western countries’ ambassadors conveyed their views on Syria, while Marsudi reiterated Indonesia’s position issued last week after the strike, which underlines the need for all parties to respect international laws and norms, in particular the UN charter on international peace and security.

Indonesia also “strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons by any parties in Syria” and called on all parties to show restraint and prevent an escalation of the deteriorating situation.

Indonesia stressed the importance of a comprehensive resolution of the conflict in Syria through negotiations and peaceful means and expressed concern about the security of civilians, calling on all parties to ensure that the safety of women and children was always a priority.

Beginda Pakpahan, an international relations lecturer at Universitas Indonesia, said that the country’s position on Syria was clear and reflected its free and active foreign policy.

“They (the ambassadors) should be aware of Indonesia’s position,” Pakpahan told Arab News.

Rene Pattiradjawane, a former Kompas daily senior journalist and foreign policy commentator, said that it was natural the three countries would seek support from Indonesia as the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

According to the Foreign Ministry, there are up to 2,000 Indonesian citizens in Syria.

Moazzam Malik, the UK’s ambassador to Indonesia, said after Thursday’s meeting that he and fellow ambassadors to Indonesia, the US’s Joseph R. Donovan and France’s Jean-Charles Berthonne, would Iike Indonesia to join them in holding the Assad regime accountable for the suspected misuse of chemical weapons against their own citizens and the abuse of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Malik said that since Indonesia would soon become a committee member of the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), they would like it to put pressure on Syria and Russia to open access for the investigation in Douma.


Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

Updated 31 min 42 sec ago
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Key allies quit Duterte Cabinet to run in midterm elections

  • More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate

MANILA, Philippines: Close allies of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have resigned from his Cabinet to run in elections next year that will test his popularity and could determine his future political influence.
Among those running in the May 13 midterm elections are Duterte’s former foreign secretary, who staunchly defended him from international criticism of his deadly anti-drug crackdown, his spokesman, his political adviser and a longtime aide. Aspirants have up to Wednesday to register as candidates.
More than 18,000 government posts are up for grabs, including 12 seats in the 24-member Senate, which stymied efforts by Duterte allies this year to rapidly open the country’s constitution to amendments and allow a shift to a federal system of government.