Wednesday, 20th September 2017

Indonesia to intensify efforts to protect citizens abroad

11th January 2017 | 1.588 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government will go the extra mile to protect its citizens abroad, especially its nationals who have been taken hostages, the foreign affairs minister declared.

"The effort to protect our citizens abroad will be intensified, even as Indonesia faces great challenges with the surge of kidnapping cases in the Sulu Sea and in the Malaysian waters," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said during the 2017 Annual Press Statement here, Tuesday night.

As of 2016, the Indonesian government, in coordination with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, had settled 11,065 cases involving Indonesians, freeing 71 citizens from the death sentence, resolving and protecting 399 victims of human trafficking, and facilitating the repatriation of 41,569 Indonesians.

The ministry also recovered more than Rp92 billion for the Indonesian citizens, as their compensation, insurance, and unpaid wages, as well as assisted 512 ship crews to deal with numerous issues overseas.

The governments ability to respond immediately to protect its citizens abroad was tested in 2016, Marsudi noted.

"However, the teamwork between the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian missions abroad helped us pass the test," she said.

The minister also highlighted the prompt assistance received by hundreds of Indonesian citizens stranded at the Turkish airports on the day of a military coup on July 15, 2016.

Besides emphasizing on the protection of Indonesian citizens abroad, Marsudi mentioned other foreign policy focuses of the government in 2017, namely protecting the territorial integrity by finalizing maritime and land border negotiations, strengthening ASEANs unity and centrality, as well as its contribution in the region, fostering peace and stability in the East Asian region by accelerating the Code of Conduct (CoC) negotiation, building Indian Oceans regional architecture, and optimizing the support for Indonesias candidacy as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2019-2020.

Regarding the maritime and land border negotiations, Indonesia has agreed on a draft of the 20th Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Survey and Demarcation for land borders between North Kalimantan and Sabah with Malaysia, and has completed the final stage of negotiation on two unresolved segments of land borders between Indonesia and Timor Leste. (*)