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Luhut Says Pacific Trip Does Not Reflect Foreign Minister’s Diplomatic Failure

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Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan and Papua Governor, Lukas Enembe in border area of Indonesia - PNG - Jubi

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan and Papua Governor, Lukas Enembe in border area of Indonesia – PNG – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan brushed aside suggestions that his visit to Fiji and Papua New Guinea reflected failure by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi to the prevent the Papua issue from taking center stage in the Pacific region.

“No, it’s not true. I always consult with her (Retno),” said Luhut in Jayapura this week, answering reporter.

“Because of I’ve already been here (Jayapura), so I just go on (to Fiji), because there was a hurricane and so on,” Luhut said.

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He said Retno is the person behind his mission to the two Melanesian countries. “I just spoke with her on the phone. She arranged all of this,” he said.

However the minister acknowledged that Indonesian relationship with the countries in the Pacific, in particular Melanesian countries, is less warm. “Why did it happen? It might because we are too busy with other things. Now, there was hurricane, so we send an engineer army troupe to help them (Fiji) to reconstruct the houses damaged by hurricane,” he said.

He also added the Indonesian President Joko Widodo provides donation of US$5 million to Fiji to rebuild their infrastructures after beating by Winston hurricane last month. (Victor Mambor/rom)

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