US ready to assist Indonesia in Southeast Asian refugee crisis

US ready to assist Indonesia in Southeast Asian refugee crisis

Robert Blake. (Reuters)

I welcome the initiative to independently search and rescue Rohingya asylum seekers adrift at sea."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The United States expressed readiness to assist Indonesia through the United Nations (UN) to handle the Southeast Asian refugee crisis, the United States Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake stated.

"If the UN agency in charge of refugee crises requests assistance from us, then the United States will assist the agency happily," Blake noted here on Tuesday.

With regard to such a crisis, Blake remarked that the United States can provide humanitarian assistance soon.

Blake lauded Indonesias efforts in dealing with Rohingya asylum seekers currently stranded in Indonesia.

"I welcome the initiative to independently search and rescue Rohingya asylum seekers adrift at sea," he pointed out.

Earlier, Member of the Presidential Advisory Council Hasyim Muzadi had urged the government to discuss the fate of Rohingya asylum seekers currently stranded in Indonesia with Myanmar.

"The most important step is to help them first, for humanitarian sake. We agree to allocate the state budget to the concerned institutions. So, firstly, we should accommodate them and then conduct diplomacy with Myanmar," he remarked on Monday.

"Tell them, hai Myanmar, many of your citizens are now in Indonesia," the former chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), affirmed.

In the meantime, Chairman of the East Java branch of the Ansor Youth Movement Rudi Tri Wachid called on the government to sever diplomatic ties with Myanmar and to recall the Indonesian ambassador to Myanmar.

The UN should also impose sanctions on Myanmar, he categorically stated.

"The humanitarian tragedy of Rohingya ethnic minority is imminent. Thousands of them have lost their lives, and thousand others are adrift, suffering from starvation," he added.

The Rohinga minority should be granted their human rights and protection, he noted.

"The Rohingya tragedy should not be seen as a religious issue because it is more of an ethnic genocide," remarked.

He lauded the governor and people of Aceh for rescuing the Rohingya boat people.

The Indonesian government must save the Rohingya people and treat them as free human beings, he stated.

The Rohingya tragedy is a humanitarian crisis happening in the ASEAN and has attracted global attention.
(Uu.A063/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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