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Indonesia, Australia should tackle separatist flag raising incident carefully: Prof Juwana

9th January 2017 | 1.954 Views
Indonesia, Australia should tackle separatist flag raising incident carefully: Prof Juwana
Prof. Hikmahanto Juwana. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Australia should be careful in addressing the incident of trespassing and raising of a separatist flag at the Indonesian General Consulate in Melbourne, University of Indonesias international law expert stated.

"Both countries should be careful in addressing this incident, so it will not affect bilateral relations," University of Indonesias international law expert, Prof. Hikmahanto Juwana, remarked here on Monday.

The Indonesian government had earlier strongly criticized the criminal act carried out by members of the separatist Free Papua Movement who trespassed into the premises of the Indonesian Consulate General and raised the separatist movements flag on Friday (January 6).

Juwana noted that as two close neighboring countries, Indonesia and Australia have witnessed highs and lows in their bilateral relations, but separatism is a serious issue for Indonesia.

Moreover, Indonesia had earlier suspended military training and education cooperation with Australia following the insulting remarks and content published in textbooks in an Australian institution.

"It is hard not to relate the flag raising incident with the military cooperations suspension; the perpetrator seemed to have mocked Indonesia by raising the separatist flag," he said.

Juwana expressed optimism that the Australian government would follow up on the protest and request made by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry with regard to the incident and realize the importance of increasing security arrangements at Indonesias missions.

On the other hand, Indonesia should intensify its security measures for Australian missions to avoid a similar violation.

"Officials of both governments should also meet to demonstrate to the public that the two countries are committed to maintaining good relations," Juwana added.

By resolving tensions between high-ranking officials of Indonesia and Australia, it was expected that the issue would not escalate among the public that would then be more difficult to settle, Juwana noted.