Tue, 05 Aug 2003

RI still recognizes Iraq embassy

JAKARTA: The government still recognizes the Iraqi embassy as a symbol of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Iraq despite the fact that the leadership of President Saddam Husein is over.

"In principle we recognize the status of the Iraqi embassy in Indonesia even if the leadership of Saddam Husein has ended," the spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs Marty Natalegawa was quoted by Antara as saying Monday.

Marty was referring to the conflict involving the former Iraqi ambassador to China, Muwafak al Ani, and his staff following the United State's request to expel the diplomat.

"We still recognize whoever is staying at the embassy compound because the embassy is symbolic of the diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Iraq as states, not individuals," he said.

He also said that Indonesia would recognize a new Iraqi government if the majority of Iraqi people supported it.--Antara