MANILA, Philippines - Visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. R.M. Marty Natalegawa claimed yesterday that Indonesia is ready to be part of the solution to many of the world’s conflicts but with a degree of humility that relies more on “state-craft” and less on “stage-craft.”
Natalegawa told a press conference that he takes pride in Indonesia’s long history of facilitating the peace process, including the signing of the 1996 peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which was brokered by Indonesian officials.
“That’s a way to describe it. We will do things in a low-key way and hopefully get things done. Besides opening ourselves for assistance, our records speak for themselves in terms of wanting to facilitate and wanting to contribute,” Natalegawa said. “Actually it is a standing inclination on Indonesia’s part to be as helpful as possible.”
He said that there are talks between the Philippines and Indonesia about how to contribute to the peace effort in relation to the Moro Islamiac Liberation Front (MILF).
“Meanwhile, of course we have the MILF peace process principally facilitated or mediated by Malaysia. We have not been as active on the MILF as in the MNLF process obviously. We continue to follow the developments closely and there has been some communication going back and forth between our two governments about how we can add value or play a role within that process,” Natalegawa said.
“I have an open mind at this time and yet humility as well, we know we have limitations in our capabilities and capacities but we will not shun from our original responsibility, especially if we have institutional memory of lessons learned that we built over the years on the MNLF. That having been said, nothing has been decided. We are more on a listening mode to see what the Philippine government’s ideas are to have a snapshot of where we are on this particular process,” he added.
Indonesia’s long history of mediating conflicting groups goes back to Jakarta’s informal meetings on the Cambodian conflict, the South China Sea territorial disputes, and the MNLF insurgency.