Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) emphasized that the Rohingya issue is very relevant to be discussed at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan Summit in Tokyo on Sunday (December 17).

"I think it is very relevant to discuss this, as it is not only an ASEAN problem but also a problem of the refugees' destination countries," Jokowi stated in a press conference shortly before his departure to Japan from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base here on Saturday.

According to the president, Indonesia, which has so far accepted more than 1,200 Rohingyas since November 2023, based on the UNHCR data, is not the only country to be facing the issue of Rohingya refugees.

"Malaysia also has the same problem, with a higher number (of refugees)," he stated while referring to the more than 107 thousand Rohingya refugees seeking asylum in Malaysia, according to the UNHCR data.

Although Indonesia is not obligated to accept Rohingya refugees, as it is not a country that is party to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, it decided to temporarily assist them based on humanitarian grounds.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has urged world countries to help resolve the root of the Rohingya problem immediately, so as to not cause further impacts on fellow ASEAN countries.

She explained that the ongoing conflict in Myanmar between the military junta and civilians has forced the Rohingyas to leave the country, and many of them entered Indonesia.

"Therefore, I invite the international community to work together to stop the conflict and restore democracy in Myanmar, so that Rohingya refugees can return to their homes, namely in Myanmar," she stated at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) at the UN Office in Geneva on Wednesday (December 13).

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Translator: Yashinta P, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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