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Indonesia President Jokowi meets Kofi Annan to discuss Myanmar

Leaders -- President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (left) and Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika (right), welcome former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan (center) prior to the opening of the 9th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in Nusa Dua on Thursday. Jokowi and Annan discussed humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya people in Myanmar. (Antara/Nyoman Budhiana)

By Desy Nurhayati
December 8, 2016

Nusa Dua, Bali -- President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo held a meeting with former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday to discuss humanitarian aid for the Rohingya people in Rakhine state, Myanmar.

The 30-minute bilateral meeting took place before the President officially opened the ninth Bali Democracy Forum, in which Annan, who served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2006, became the keynote speaker.

Annan, who founded the Kofi Annan Foundation, is now the head of the Advisory Committee for Rakhine State. During the meeting, he explained to Jokowi his findings during his visit to the conflict area and advised countries to take urgent steps to help victims of the humanitarian crisis.

"Indonesia will soon dispatch humanitarian aid for the Rohingya people. I have ordered the relevant ministers to prepare the necessary logistics, especially food and blankets," Jokowi said after the meeting.

Accompanying the President at the meeting, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Annan appreciated the Indonesian government for taking prompt action to provide humanitarian assistance for victims in the troubled state.

"In the longer term, we will also support Myanmar in terms of providing capacity building in the field of good governance, democracy and human rights. We have started these programs and will continue to do that, because it is very important," she explained, citing results of her recent discussion with Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Delegations from 94 countries and observers from several organizations are attending the two-day conference to discuss democracy, religious tolerance and pluralism and strengthen global cooperation.

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