Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya issued a clarification on NZ Herald`s Political Editor Audrey Young`s opinion that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had "implicitly disrespected" New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the country.
"We have lodged a strong protest with the writer and urged her to tender a clarification for what she has written is not rooted in the reality," Yahya noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Monday.
Young’s opinion titled "Visiting leaders show disrespect by failing to share platforms with Jacinda Ardern" was published on the NZ Herald website on Sunday (Mar 25).
Young wrote that it was shameful that on a state visit, President Widodo had failed to conduct himself in a manner expected of him while interacting with the public of New Zealand.
Young remarked that after conducting a bilateral meeting with the New Zealand prime minister on Mar 19, the Indonesian delegate declined to hold a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Ardern; hence, declining to do so was implicitly disrespectful to Ardern and New Zealand.
"The write-up stating President Joko Widodo declined to communicate with the media is Audrey Young`s personal opinion, which is not supported by evidence and fact," Yahya wrote.
"The decision to not hold a press conference was the suggestion of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that was then adopted as a joint decision," Ambassador Yahya clarified.
For the public, the result of the meeting will be incorporated in a joint statement to be published on the official websites of both countries, Yahya revealed.
"As a guest, we respect the position taken by the host. We fully supported (the decision) for there was nothing wrong with such an approach," he noted.
President Widodo paid a state visit to New Zealand on Mar 18-19 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and New Zealand. (ANTARA)