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Jakarta Post

Rohingya crisis could affect ASEAN stability: Jokowi

  • Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Manila   /   Sat, April 29, 2017   /   04:30 pm
Rohingya crisis could affect ASEAN stability: Jokowi In consultation: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi talk on the sidelines of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on April 29. (Courtesy of the Presidential Office/File)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has reminded State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that leaving Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis unsolved would affect peace and stability both in her country and in the ASEAN region.

Jokowi conveyed his concerns during his meeting with Suu Kyi on the sidelines the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on Saturday. In the meeting, they discussed conflicts that had affected the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, a state in Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said President Jokowi told Suu Kyi that stability in Myanmar was important not only for the country but also the region.

“The President expressed his view that peace and stability in Myanmar must be maintained,” Retno told journalists in Manila.

(Read also: Jokowi, Suu Kyi discuss Rohingya crisis)

Jokowi used the ASEAN Summit to directly express Indonesia’s support for solutions to the Rohingya crisis as the two leaders had never met before.

A report released by the London-based Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) states that at least 30,000 people in Rakhine have been internally displaced, while ongoing violence has led to shortages of food and aid for more than 70,000 people in the area.

To help solve the crisis, Retno said Indonesia had proposed mid- and long-term cooperation agreements with the Myanmar government in the fields of health and education, among others.

“The point is Indonesia wants to see Rakhine transform itself to become an inclusive region free from discrimination,” Retno said.

Indonesia would soon build a mosque for Rohingya people in Rakhine as Myanmar authorities had allowed the construction of houses of worship, she added. (ebf)