The Jakarta Post
The safety of seven Indonesian sailors taken hostage by two different Philippine radical groups in Philippine waters is of utmost importance, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has said.
"We will soon find out [the location of hostages], but what's important is that they are safe, other issues are secondary," Ryamizard said on Friday.
While the investigation into the identity of the perpetrators and their locations is ongoing, the government will keep pushing to secure the release of Indonesian sailors through diplomatic channels and intense communication with their counterparts in the Philippines, Ryamizard said.
Only if the situation could not be resolved through negotiation, might it involve a military operation as a last resort, Ryamizard said. However, he added that both countries preferred to avoid exchanges of fires, as they did not want casualties, whether they were perpetrators or hostages.
"We don't want any of our captives to become casualties, so we will strive for the best [solution]," Ryamizard said. (dmr)
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