No Dutch travel warning after Jakarta attack
9 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Foreign Ministry has not changed its advice that Indonesia — with the exception of certain troubled areas — is safe for international travellers. Nine people were killed on Thursday by a bomb explosion near the Australian embassy in Jakarta.
Speaking as President of the EU Council of Ministers, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot has expressed outrage and dismay at the bomb attack. He offered his condolences to the relatives of the dead and the estimated 100 people who were injured.
He said he was confident that Indonesia would not spare any effort in finding and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the attack.
Asserting that the 25-member EU bloc fully and unconditionally rejects all forms of terrorism, he underlined “the EU’s willingness to further strengthen its co-operation with the Indonesian and Australian authorities in the fight against terrorism”.
This is the second time in less than a week that Bot has had to comment on a major terrorist incident.
He sparked a row with Russia when his statement late last week on the Beslan school siege seemed to suggest the EU wanted Moscow to explain how the tragedy in which 350 people — many of them children — died.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Foreign Ministry has not changed its travel advice in relation to Indonesia in the aftermath of the Jakarta attack.
One line has been added at the top of the page stating the advice is still valid on 9 September (Thursday).
It continues: “Indonesia can — with the exception of some unsafe areas — be travelled. Given that Indonesia is undergoing a process of political transition and that the political relationships there have not totally crystallised, international travellers are advised to stay informed of developments”.
Separately, the Dutch disaster fund, Calamiteitenfonds, said Thursday it did not see any reason to issue negative travel advice for Indonesia. Travellers to the region will still be covered by the fund.
Fund director Peter Silbermann said an attack — though tragic and shocking — was “one single incident”.
“We did not issue a negative travel advice after (the) Madrid (train bombings on 11 March 2004) either,” he said.
Newspaper De Telegraaf said there had been an increase in the number of Dutch people travelling to Indonesia in recent months. Some 18 percent more passengers booked flights to Indonesia up to 8 August compared with the 12,000 travellers in the same period last year.
Some 18,000 Dutch people travelled to Indonesia during 2002. The Bali bombings in October of that year claimed the lives of 202 people, most of whom were Australian tourists.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Jakarta bombing