Indonesian Foreign Ministry contradicts House on diplomatic passports

Indonesian Foreign Ministry contradicts House on diplomatic passports
House Speaker Setya Novanto had said that all of the 560 lawmakers would soon hold diplomatic passports that would allow them to enjoy privileges, including diplomatic immunity, while carrying out their work abroad.

The Foreign Ministry would not recklessly issue diplomatic passports for lawmakers, deputy foreign minister A.M. Fachir said following a recent claim by the speaker of the House of Representatives that all lawmakers would receive diplomatic passports to support the Indonesian government's diplomatic efforts.

According to Fachir such passports will be issued only to those representing Indonesia in carrying out diplomatic tasks overseas.

"It is possible [to issue such diplomatic passports for lawmakers]; but they are not granted automatically.

"There is a certain mechanism here. Even diplomats are not automatically granted [such passports], unless they are on duty," Fachir said as quoted on Tribunnews.com.

According to Fachir, his office will consider issuing such passports only to those on active duty.

"Only when [they] are on duty; therefore, there is an exit permit which will be issued by the ministry and will serve as a selecting [tool] to see whether or not the person is carrying out [diplomatic] tasks."

House Speaker Setya Novanto had said during the opening of a House plenary meeting on Monday that all of the 560 lawmakers would soon hold diplomatic passports that would allow them to enjoy privileges, including diplomatic immunity, while carrying out their work abroad as part of the efforts to boost the legislature's support for the government's foreign policies.

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