Ministry moves BDF venue to Banten

Ministry moves BDF venue to Banten

President Joko Widodo opened the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) IX in Nusa Dua, Bali at 8 December 2016. This year, Indonesia shifts the venue of the 10th BDF from Bali to Indonesia Conference and Exhibition (ICE) in Banten due to Mount Agung's eruption. (ANTARA/Nyoman Budhiana)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Ministry has shifted the venue of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) from Nusa Dua, Bali, to Banten Province following Mount Agung`s eruption in the tourist resort island.

"We want to emphasize that in general, the situation in Bali is normal. However, with the eruption of Mt Agung, which has affected flights around the area, the government has decided to move the BDF venue to the Indonesia Conference and Exhibition (ICE) in BSD to ensure the convenience of the delegation members attending the forum," the ministry`s Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy Cecep Herawan remarked here, Thursday.

Herawan informed the press that delegations confirming their participation at the event, to be held on Dec 7-8, have expressed their complete understanding of the situation.

"The spirit and substance of the 10th BDF will be maintained. Hence, there will be no significant difference, as it is only the venue to be moved in order to ensure the convenience of the delegation members, who are our guests," he noted.

Delegations from 29 countries and six international organizations have confirmed their attendance at the event. Among the members of the delegations will be a head of state, 16 ministers, 10 deputy ministers, and other senior officers.

"The head of state who has confirmed to attend (the forum) is the president of Nauru," Herawan added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Vice President Jusuf Kalla had revealed that the venue for the 10th BDF should be moved from Bali to Jakarta following the eruption of Mt Agung in Bali.

"It would be impossible to hold such an important event since aircraft would not be able to land on the island due to the eruption. It would be difficult," Kalla pointed out.

The Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center has raised the alert status of Mount Agung from level III to IV, the highest, indicating eruption hazards.

The authorities have stated that dark smoke and ash have been billowing up to 3,400 meters above the mountain`s peak.

The 3,142-meter-high volcano had been rumbling since August 2017.