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Archive for Indonesia

Newsline: Guatemala to reopen embassy in Jakarta

Guatemalan Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carranza Cifuentes will visit Indonesia on Friday to meet with his counterpart AM Fachir to discuss a plan to reopen its embassy in Jakarta, which was closed 26 years ago when Guatemala plunged into political and economic instability. The Foreign Ministry’s acting spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, said the Central American country opened the embassy in Jakarta in 1990 when it started diplomatic relations with Indonesia. “However, due to the country’s [Guatemala’s] economic conditions, the embassy was closed in 1993,” he said in a press briefing on Thursday. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/18/guatemala-to-reopen-embassy-in-jakarta.html) “So the visit [on Friday] will discuss the possibility of reopening the embassy in Indonesia,” Faizasyah added. The two countries, he said, were expecting the embassy to be reopened before September, and Indonesia considered the plan a positive step as it had shown Guatemala acknowledged Indonesia’s role in both bilateral and regional affairs.


Newsline: Indonesia calls in Australian ambassador

Indonesia called in its Australian ambassador to convey strong condemnation over Fraser Anning’s statements linking the shooting to fears about immigration. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/mar/18/new-zealand-mosque-attack-police-search-homes-in-nsw-in-connection-with-shooting-live) Speaking on Mar. 18, Australian senator Fraser Anning refused to apologise over the original comments he made, he repeated his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration and said he is not sorry for hitting the 17-year-old boy who egged him.

Newsline: Embassies in Jakarta search for nationals, issue warnings after tsunami

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta was making “urgent enquiries” to find out if any Australians were affected, a DFAT spokesperson said. “We understand that at present there are no foreigners, let alone Australians, who have been impacted by this,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday. Oman’s embassy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta has called for its citizens to exercise caution following a tsunami that has caused heavy damage in the Southeast Asian archipelago. The tsunami following a volcanic eruption killed more than 200 people when it slammed without warning into popular beaches around Indonesia’s Sunda Strait on Saturday night. The deadly wave was believed to have been triggered by an underwater landslide from volcanic eruptions and comes three months after more than 2,500 people were killed by an earthquake and tsunami which hit the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi.


Newsline: Malaysia and Indonesia sink Australia’s Embassy move to Jerusalem

Forget about Australia moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Veiled Malaysian suggestions of terrorist attacks on Australian targets if the Embassy is moved coupled with Indonesian threats to not sign a free trade agreement with Australia – will suffice to burst Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s thought-bubble. Australia gave Indonesia $360 million in aid in 2016 and was the world’s 16th largest donor in giving $15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Indonesia gave UNRWA $5000 in 2016 – whilst Malaysia gave nothing. Indonesia and Malaysia – two Islamic states – flex their muscles on Islamic claims to Jerusalem – yet pathetically fail to financially support their Islamic brethren.


Newsline: Indonesian Embassy staff member implicated in Singapore’s bribery case

Three Singaporeans, including an insurance agent, were charged in the State Courts yesterday over their alleged roles in a bribery case linked to performance bond guarantees for Indonesian maids. Freelance translator Abdul Aziz Mohamed Hanib, 63, is accused of collecting more than $92,000 in bribes for himself and Mr Agus Ramdhany Machjumi, an administrative and technical staff member at the Indonesian Embassy. In a statement, Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said Abdul Aziz, a Singaporean, allegedly received $71,200 from insurance agent James Yeo Siew Liang, 47. The alleged offence took place between March and June this year, court documents said. It was purportedly a reward for Mr Agus to show favour to AIG Asia Pacific Insurance and Liberty Insurance, two firms Yeo represented. Court documents stated that as a result, the Indonesian Embassy accredited both insurance companies as performance bond providers. The Straits Times had reported that since April this year, employers hiring a new Indonesian maid have been asked to purchase a performance bond guarantee from insurers approved by the embassy, which requires a one-off $70 payment. Under the terms of the bond guarantee, employers have to pay $6,000 if they breach a standard employment contract issued by the Indonesian Embassy. In its statement, the CPIB said the Indonesian Embassy was not complicit in the corruption offences. The CPIB added: “There is currently no evidence to suggest that AIG Asia Pacific Insurance and Liberty Insurance were complicit in the corruption offences.


Newsline: Indonesia may cancel trade deal with Australia if embassy moves to Jerusalem

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi expressed his country’s concern over Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks that the country may move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. Marsudi called on the Australian government to respect the peace process and UN Security Council resolutions issued in this regard. “Indonesia reiterates that [the political status of] Jerusalem is one of six issues that have to be negotiated and decided as a sustainable solution,” she said. “Indonesia asks Australia and other countries to continue supporting the Palestine-Israel peace process in accordance with the principles that have been agreed and to not take steps that may threaten the peace process and world stability.” The Australian Broadcasting Corp. broke the news yesterday that should Australia make the move, Indonesia could put on hold a landmark free trade pact, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is scheduled to be signed later this year. The Indonesian minister revealed on Twitter that she had summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta the same day and “conveyed Indonesia’s strong concern” as well as “question[ed] the merit of Australia’s announcement on the issue of Palestine.”


Newsline: Canada’s Global Affairs won’t confirm if ambassador joined diplomat husband on Myanmar beach

After a Canadian diplomat deleted an “insensitive” tweet about a “perfect” beach in Myanmar, Global Affairs is refusing to confirm if his wife, Canada’s ambassador to Myanmar, had joined him on holiday in a country that is facing widespread international condemnation for a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign. “First day of 2018 unfolded on a Myanmar beach where the great surf is pleasingly turquoise coloured, warm, clean and clear — perfect for snorkelling to visit with nature and the fish,” Canada’s ambassador to Indonesia, Peter MacArthur, tweeted on the morning of Jan. 1 along with a trio of photos showing a deserted stretch of shoreline. CTV News London correspondent Daniele Hamamdjian captured a screengrab and retweeted those words and photos before MacArthur quickly deleted them at the urging of Global Affairs Canada. MacArthur had been on a private trip to the Southeast Asian country where his wife, Karen MacArthur, serves as Canada’s ambassador — a position that comes with additional hardship pay. Although Canadian officials have described the ongoing persecution of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority as “ethnic cleansing,” there are no rules that bar diplomats from vacationing in the troubled country, where many large hotels and resorts are financially linked to its military. Myanmar’s military has been accused of being complicit in the longstanding humanitarian crisis. “The government of Canada takes the situation in Myanmar very seriously and is deeply concerned by the ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that are occurring there,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Brianne Maxwell said in an emailed statement to CTV News. “Ambassador MacArthur was advised to delete the Tweet in question.” Peter MacArthur has been working with the department since 1982 and has held positions in countries such as Russia, India and Japan. He has been Canada’s ambassador to Indonesia since 2016.