JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called off her planned state visit to Myanmar, as tensions from the military takeover in the country increased with protests in front of the Indonesian Embassy in the capital Yangon.
“The worsening political situation in Myanmar ruled the visit out,” said Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah on Wednesday.
He confirmed that Retno previously intended to go to Myanmar’s political capital Naypyidaw to resolve the crisis.
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Faizashyah also denied a report by the Reuters news agency that Indonesia supported the Myanmar military junta’s plan to hold new elections. “The Indonesian government never had [new elections] as their plan of action. That is not our official position,” he maintained.
“The Foreign Minister is consulting [her counterparts] from other ASEAN countries about the crisis in Myanmar. This is in line with President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s talks during their summit in Jakarta earlier this month.”
However, Faizasyah's counterpart in Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanee Sanrat said Retno held impromptu talks with Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and the Myanmar military junta's Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin. Tanee gave no further details.
Protests in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Myanmar
Faizasyah confirmed that the Reuters report sparked protests in front of the Indonesian embassy in Myanmar after its publication on Monday, February 22.
“The protests in front [of the Indonesian Embassy] have been peaceful and nonviolent, as reported by the Antara state news agency,” he said.