Jayapura (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that the government will continue to make efforts to free Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens held hostage by an armed separatist group in Papua.

Jokowi told reporters here on Friday that efforts so far been made cannot be divulged to the public.

The president made the statement after opening the Papua Street Carnival event held at the yard of the Papua Governor’s Office.

"The government has worked hard to resolve the problem and is still in the process," he affirmed.

The president spoke of having held a meeting on Thursday (July 6) night regarding the problem, though the results cannot be disclosed.

Earlier, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius Fakhiri responded to the press' questions here on Tuesday (July 4) by stating that his side is still prioritizing negotiation to free the pilot held hostage by the Egianus Kogoya-led separatist group.

The negotiation, which is still ongoing, is conducted by involving the Kogoya family, community leaders, and religious leaders.

The New Zealander pilot was abducted by the armed separatist group on February 7, 2023, shortly after landing in Paro, Nduga District, Papua Pegunungan Province. The group also torched the Susi Air aircraft.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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