Sat, 27 Jul 1996

Security men ease vigil as ministers leave town

JAKARTA (JP): No major security problems were reported during the series of ASEAN ministerial meetings which ended Thursday, City Police Spokesman Lt. Iman Haryatna said yesterday.

"Everything went well," Iman told The Jakarta Post.

A number of senior officers, who were assigned to security detail beginning on July 20, are now able to take a breather.

"Thank God the hectic days are over and that nothing happened," said one of the officers.

More than 2,350 police and military personnel were assigned to patrol the ASEAN meetings, which were attended by 21 foreign ministers.

The personnel were assigned to protect all the participants and their delegations.

"For example, they were deployed to safeguard the participants' hotels, meeting places, traffic routes and certain places such as shopping centers, where their spouses were," said Iman.

The first meeting held last week was the annual meeting of the ASEAN foreign ministers, followed by a one-day ASEAN Regional Forum on security issues and a two-day ASEAN meeting with its external dialog partners on issues ranging from general security concerns to specific economic agreements.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam plus observers Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Papua New Guinea.

ASEAN's dialog partners are Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

As of yesterday, almost all of the delegates had left the city. (bsr)