"We exchanged ideas, I met with the UAE Foreign Minister and we discussed that. We don't want the situation in the Middle East to get worse," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, January 12, 2020.
She was speaking after accompanying President Joko Widodo on a number of state agendas at Qasr Al Watan Palace along with UAE Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed.
According to Retno, All parties were worried by the rising political escalation in the region, especially the UAE which was close to the conflicting regions.
"I think everyone is worried because they are closer to the conflicting regions. We are also worried about the conflict. The war will not benefit anyone. It will have a definite effect on the world economy," Indonesia's top diplomat said.
Even the UAE Crown Prince and President Widodo during the meeting also briefly addressed the issue.
"Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed and President Joko Widodo discuss the issue, but not much. Because, the discussion focused on the economy," the minister remarked.
If there was a war, the increase in political tensions would be very detrimental. For Indonesia, the most directly affected would be their citizens living abroad.
"According to the data, more than 400 Indonesian citizens stay in Iran while the number in Iraq is 800," she noted.
For this reason, the foreign minister expected the tension could be reduced. However, the foreign ministry had prepared a number of contingency plans including opening a crisis center and hotline that could be contacted at any time by Indonesian citizens.
"So, we are trying to send a message to reduce the escalation," she concluded. (Antara)