Brazil's 'overreaction' puts diplomatic ties at risk
Bagus BT Saragih and Nani Afrida
The Jakarta Post
The government has received support for its decision to recall Indonesian ambassador-designate to Brazil Toto Riyanto following Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's refusal to accept his credentials while the diplomat was at the presidential palace for the credentials ceremony.
'Brazil's manners are truly deplorable and violate diplomatic ethics,' Hikmahanto Juwana, an international law expert from the University of Indonesia, said in a statement on Saturday.
'Rouseff's move puts the two countries' diplomatic relations at risk, which have otherwise been mutually beneficial for quite a long time,'
He also supported the Foreign Ministry's decision to recall Toto and file a diplomatic protest against Brazil. 'Indonesia cannot accept such an unfriendly action from the Brazilian government.'
Indonesia, Hikmahanto added, might consider expelling Brazilian diplomats currently stationed in Indonesia.
'But I think it is not necessary to resort to such an action yet,' he said. 'Brazil should think twice about its future actions, including in regard to protecting its citizens who have committed serious crimes in Indonesia.'
Tantowi Yahya, the deputy chairman of House of Representatives Commission I overseeing foreign affairs, accused Rousseff of 'diplomatically harassing' Indonesia.
'There is not one country in the world that can dictate another country's legal system. As a sovereign nation, Brazil should understand that,' the Golkar Party lawmaker said.
Tantowi said Rousseff's action could instead cost the Latin American nation.
'Indonesia has purchased Super Tucano airplanes and ordered a Multi Launcher Rocket System [MLRS] from Brazil. The House will discuss this matter with the Defense Ministry to evaluate the cooperation,' he said.
In 2010, Indonesia signed a US$284 million contract with Brazil's Embraer to build a squadron of EMB 314 Super Tucano turboprop light fighters.
In April, last year, the Defense Ministry expressed disappointment over a seven-month delay in the delivery of four of the aircraft.
Tantowi added that Rousseff had also put Brazilian exporters trying to supply meat to Indonesia in a difficult situation.
'Brazil needs Indonesia more than we need them,' he said.
Rousseff refused to accept Toto's credentials while those of designate-ambassadors of El Salvador, Panama, Venezuela, Senegal and Greece were received in a ceremony on Friday.
Last month, Rousseff said she was outraged at the execution of Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira; one of the six convicts executed for drug-related offenses, and immediately recalled the Brazilian ambassador to Indonesia.
Another Brazilian, Rodrigo Muxfeldt Gularte, is also facing imminent execution for drug- trafficking offenses. (nfo)(+++)
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