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Jokowi Asserts Diplomacy, Economic Policy to Anticipate Middle East Conflict Escalation

17 April 2024 12:53 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaPresident Joko Widodo or Jokowi chaired a limited meeting with his ministers at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday, 16 April 2024, to discuss the impact of Iran's strike on Israel. The government anticipates the effect of Middle Eastern geopolitics through diplomatic efforts and sticking to economic policies that support the real sector.

In a press statement after the meeting yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said Indonesia continues to encourage de-escalation and restraint among countries involved in conflicts in the Middle East.

Retno has been in intensive communication with world leaders, including Foreign Ministers from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US Deputy Secretary of State. In the past two days, she has also communicated by phone and exchanged messages to emphasize the importance of restraint and de-escalation of the conflict. 

"Two things we convey in all communications with directly related parties: restraint and de-escalation," Retno said in a video statement from the Presidential Press Bureau. Retno said Jokowi supports all her diplomatic efforts.

Iran launched the attack in retaliation for an airstrike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1, 2024, which it attributed to Israel. The prospect of Israeli retaliation has alarmed many Iranians who are already experiencing economic hardship and tighter socio-political controls since the major protests of 2022-2023. 

Since Israel’s military operation in Gaza began in October, clashes have erupted between Israel and Iranian support groups based in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. The third meeting of Israel's war cabinet scheduled for Tuesday to decide on a response to Iran's first direct attack was postponed until Wednesday. Meanwhile, several Western countries are discussing economic sanctions against Tehran.

Through a separate press briefing on Tuesday, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said tensions in the Middle East have impacted oil prices. He highlighted that the conflict could affect the Strait of Hormuz, which holds 33,000 oil tankers, and the Red Sea, which holds 27,000 tankers.

In the face of global economic turmoil, the Indonesian government remains focused on policies that support the real sector and stabilize the exchange rate to reduce the impact on imports. The government also noted the benefits for exporters who receive more foreign exchange.

"We must maintain these certainties," said Airlangga, claiming economic growth is still solid at 5 percent with inflation controlled at 2.5 percent.

DANIEL A. FAJRI

Editor’s Choice: Sri Mulyani Holds Strategy Meeting to Anticipate Economic Impact of Iran's Strike on Israel

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