House: No Natuna Military Base Agreement between Indonesia, US
Member of the House Commission I, TB Hasanuddin. (Photo : Oji/Man)
Member of the House Commission I—overseeing matters relating to foreign affairs—T.B. Hasanuddin denied reports saying that Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo signed an agreement on building a U.S. military base in Natuna islands.
“There is no joint agreement between Indonesia and the U.S. about Natuna islands,” Hasanuddin said in a written statement on Saturday (31/10/2020). “Indonesia always holds the principle of a free and active foreign policy.”
He added that Indonesia would not be a military base for any country under the free and active foreign policy. However, it is willing to work in close partnership with any country anywhere in Indonesia, including the Natuna islands. “Instead of building a foreign military base, Indonesia can find ways to cooperate with other countries in any region throughout Indonesia as long as the cooperation benefits Indonesia,” he said.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Politician also questioned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement on matters relating to other countries, including Indonesia. Pompeo even touched on communism, a particularly controversial issue at home. "I don’t understand why Pompeo touched on the communist issue. Even in his home country, the USA, communism is no longer a political issue. You’d have to ask why," he said.
Hasanuddin further stated that raising such issues without clear arguments will only cause controversies among the Indonesian people. Meanwhile, cooperation in the economic sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will be beneficial for both countries. "You need to question Pompeo's intention in bringing up the communist issue. What could his motives be?" he said inquisitively.
On the other hand, Hasanuddin appealed to the Indonesian people not to be easily misled into taking sides with one of the opposing power blocs or countries. "Indonesia is consistent in its adherence to the principle of free and active foreign policy," he concluded. (ann / es)