Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has made an appeal to students to support the government`s programs, including in the efforts to take over economic resources under foreign control.

While receiving participants of the Students` National Conference at the State Palace here on Friday, Jokowi challenged students to conduct rallies in support of him.

"I have never seen any rally in support of me so far. Please do it. Certainly, it must be in support of me. There should have been rallies in support of me, but, so far, none have taken place. I am left alone and have even been criticized as being a foreign accomplice. How can it be turned upside down?" he questioned.

The conference, held at the National Islam University in Jakarta on Dec 3-6, produced 11 recommendations covering human resource development, education, teachers` welfare, social justice, and law enforcement.

President Jokowi expressed hope that the students would support the government`s efforts, so far, including divestment.

"President Jokowi has been called as a foreign accomplice while I have so far taken over the Mahakam oil block that had been under France-Japan control for tens of years. In 2015, we took over it and handed it 100 percent to Pertamina and also the Rokan Block that has been under the control of Chevron for tens of years? More than 30 years under American company. Now, it has been 100 percent under Pertamina," he stated.

Apart from Mahakam and Rokan, Jokowi remarked that the government had also made efforts to take control of 51 percent of shares of Freeport.

"We have negotiated for the past 3.5 years. It was tough. We have signed all. God willing, by the end of this month, we will finish it 100 percent and the majority 51 percent of shares will be in the hands of Indonesia or the consortium of PT Inalum, our state-owned company," he revealed.

The president admitted to it not being easy to take back the economic resources.

"Was it easy? Was it no pressure? (Of course, there was). It would have been done long time ago if no pressure had been present. However, I have never budged. I kept moving. With or without support, I would do it, as it was our duty to settle such issues. And we can do it," he stated.

He said only strong commitment was needed to settle the issue.

"For years now, one has spoken about foreign accomplice. However, in the past four years, it has happened. How could it be? We have now been in that direction, but certainly, some are easy to settle, while others, semi-easy, and still others are difficult or impossible," he added.

Reporting by Desca Lidya Natalia, Yoseph Hariyadi
Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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