JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi called on the government of India to help repatriate Indonesian members of Tablighi Jama’at on Saturday, September 12.
“I bring up the issue of the members of Tablighi Jama’at and ask for the Indian government cooperation to help repatriate them to Indonesia and other ASEAN countries,” Retno said via a teleconference.
It was previously reported that 751 Indonesians who are members of Tablighi Jama’at — an international movement of evangelical Muslims that support religious outreach — were stranded in India. Of this number, 50 Muslim pilgrims have returned to Indonesia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, 286 others who stay outside New Delhi are facing legal issues.
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This was not the first time for Indonesia and some ASEAN member states to raise the issue involving members of Tablighi Jama’at. In June, Retno requested her Indian counterpart to help repatriate the members of Tablighi Jama’at to Indonesia immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic. The request was conveyed by the Indonesian envoy to India.
During the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, Retno also expressed her appreciation to India for shipping medicinal raw materials to Indonesia when the Covid-19 outbreak reached the country.
She underscored the importance of future collaboration in capacity building in the health sector, especially in the field of drug and vaccine raw material.
“This includes cooperation in the sector of biotechnology and pharmacy. Also, [to build] collaboration in the area of medicine and vaccine production, research and development, and the development of the health industry through a regulatory ecosystem,” she added.
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She also touched on the importance of ASEAN and India's collaboration in maintaining peace and security in the region. “When a tension occurred in a place of our region, it would cause a negative impact on Southeast Asia and even Indo Pacific,” she said.
The meeting, which was co-chaired by India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, discussed ways to strengthen cooperation to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and their views on important regional and international developments, among others.
(Writer: Sania Mashabi | Editor: Krisiandi)
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