Bolivia files UN complaint after president’s jet diverted

Updated 04 July 2013

Bolivia files UN complaint after president’s jet diverted

LA PAZ: Bolivia lodged a complaint yesterday with the United Nations and planned another to the UN Human Rights Commission against several European countries that closed their airspace to the plane carrying President Evo Morales.
“As a government, we are filing complaints worldwide,” said Vice President and acting head of state Alvaro Garcia.
“We have already made the complaint to the United Nations and in the next few hours, we are making a complaint to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Garcia said, over what he called an international rights violation that put the president’s life at risk.
Bolivia said Morales was flying from Moscow back to Bolivia when his plane was forced to land in Vienna on suspicion fugitive US leaker Edward Snowden may be on board.
The flight had originally taken off late Tuesday from Moscow, where 30-year-old Snowden has been holed up for days, just hours after Morales said his country would consider giving him political asylum.
While in flight, Bolivia said the pilot learned Portugal refused to allow the plane to land for refueling, and then France, Italy and Spain banned the plane from entering its airspace.
On the ground in Vienna, police searched the plane and found no sign of the US fugitive, and the European countries reauthorized the use of their airspace.
The diversion has sparked outrage from other Latin American leaders, with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner calling the incident “very humiliating.” In a series of tweets on her official account, the president said, “they are definitely all crazy. The head of state and his plane have total immunity.”
Kirchner said she had spoken to Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who was equally outraged.
And Organization of American States chief Jose Miguel Insulza demanded an explanation about the incident, which he said endangered the president’s life.
“Nothing justifies such a disrespectful act toward a country’s highest authority.”


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.