Indonesia gives emergency clearance for foreign aid groups

"All permit regulations (for foreign assistance) have been categorized as emergency, so a process that usually takes two to three days gets clearance in ten minutes."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has been providing emergency diplomatic clearance since December 29, 2014, for foreign assistance in the search and evacuation of AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash victims.

"All permit regulations (for foreign assistance) have been categorized as emergency, so a process that usually takes two to three days gets clearance in ten minutes," MOFAs Consular Director Tri Tharyat said at a press briefing here on Wednesday.

According to the MOFA, eleven countries have joined the AirAsia flight QZ8501 aircrafts search and evacuation since December 29, 2014, until January 7, 2015. They are Singapore (6 planes and 5 vessels), Malaysia (one plane and 5 vessels), Australia (2 planes), South Korea (one plane), the US (2 vessels and 2 helicopters), the UK (an expert with deep-sea detector equipment), China (one vessel and 3 fuselage identification experts), Japan (2 vessels and 3 helicopters), Russia (2 planes), France (10 identification experts, including 2 from Air Bus), and New Zealand (one plane).

"The MOFA facilitates the communication between the countries and Basarnas (National Search and Rescue Agency). The coordinator in the field is Basarnas," Tharyat noted.

Foreign assistance for victim identification has come from ten Singaporeans (since Jan. 4), four Australians (since Jan. 5), five United Arab Emirates nationals, and one South Korean, who has joined the Indonesian Disaster Victim Identification team.

"While the assistance was communicated through the Interpol network, the MOFA facilitated their arrival in Indonesia by providing free visa documents," Tharyat pointed out.

Tharyat added that four countries: Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Canada, have offered their assistance and confirmed readiness to come to Indonesia if Basarnas needs help.

"The most recent information we have received from Basarnas is that they need a deep-water detector, which is the most crucial equipment they require at the moment to search for the black box of AirAsia fligh QZ8501," he noted.

(T.A060/INE)

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