Indonesian FM, New Zealand FM Discuss Hostage Release in Papua

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi made a phone call (photo: Twitter Menlu RI)

Jakarta, MINA – Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi made a phone call with New Zealand Foreign Minister on Wednesday. They discussed about the release of Susi Air Pilot Captain Philip Mark Mehrtens who still being held hostage by Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua.

“Today, the Foreign Minister made a phone call with her counterpart, New Zealand Foreign Minister. Beside discussing various bilateral aspects, also discussing about the effort of hostage release Capt Philip,” said the speakerperson of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhamad Iqbal in a press statement on Wednesday.

During the discussion, Lalu continued, Retno said that the efforts to release the hostage is still ongoing by emphasizing persuasive efforts and ensuring consular access for the Embassy of New Zealand in Jakarta.

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Pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens has been held hostage by the KKB lead by Egianus Kogoya since February 7, 2023.

Government and Army-Police officials continue to carry out release process of the pilot.

The Ambassador of New Zealand to Indonesia Kevin Jeffery Burnet have met with Pangkogabwilhan III Lt. Gen. Richard TH Tampubolon and Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius D. Fakhiri on Tuesday. The meeting discussed the process of releasing Mark Mehrtens.

Lt. Gen Richard TH Tampubolon said, the government of New Zealand handed over all process to Indonesian government. New Zealand wants the release to prioritize soft methods. (L/RE1/P2)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)