Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chief of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Moeldoko, has stated that efforts to free Susi Air pilot Mark Mehrtens, who is being held hostage by Papuan separatists, must be handled with caution.

He mentioned that the government will also monitor the on-site conditions.

"If the officers act recklessly and a victim is harmed, we would face serious consequences. We need to carefully calculate our actions; there is no room for reckless behavior," Moeldoko said during a press conference on Monday.

He emphasized that the military, police, and Foreign Affairs Ministry have understood their respective roles and functions in the rescue operation of the New Zealander pilot.

Moeldoko further highlighted that the Indonesian government is employing a soft approach based on diplomacy and negotiation to secure the release of Mehrtens.

New Zealand has also urged Indonesia to proceed cautiously in rescuing their national, added the KSP chief.

Previously, President Joko Widodo assured that the government will make every effort to bring Mehrtens back safely.

"We will continue to try and negotiate," he stated at a press conference at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport on Monday morning.

He confirmed that the government has implemented several strategies to secure the release of the Susi Air pilot, although not all of them can be disclosed to the public.

"Actually, we have taken significant actions, but I cannot reveal the details here," he informed.

Mehrtens was abducted by an armed separatist group affiliated with the Free Papua Movement and led by Egianus Kogoya on February 7, 2023.

The group also set fire to the Susi Air Pilatus Porter PC 6 aircraft that he was piloting after it landed at Paro Airfield, Nduga district, Papua Highlands province.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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