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Indonesian envoy hails Iran goodwill

Tehran, Indonesian Ambassador to Iran Octavino Alimudin hailed Iran's friendly and sincere attitude towards Indonesia.

Alimudin made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) elaborating on measures taken by the Indonesian government for hosting Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games.

The 2018 Asian Games, officially known as the 18th Asian Games and also known as Jakarta Palembang 2018, is a pan-Asian multi-sport event scheduled to be held from August 18 to September 2, 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

After we signed our MoU on sports and youth on September 2015, we have had many exchanges for athletes and coaches, he said.

We sent coaches and athletes from Iran to Indonesia and vice versa, he added.

He also referred to many achievements made by Iranian athletes in sports events in Indonesia.

'Apart from the Asian Games for example from 2017 and even 2016 when we signed the MoU Iranian cyclists were the best,' he reiterated.

Alimudin went on to say that Iran has invited Indonesia wushu athletes to be trained in Iran.

'You allowed Indonesian athletes to practice with you which means sincerity,' Indonesian envoy said.

'You do not look at Indonesia as competitors as Muslim country we can increase our participation in various events,' Alimudin reiterated.

On the other hand we also invited Iranian martial arts athletes to Indonesia and they stayed there for two weeks.

'In Indonesia we don't think Iran as enemy for us (in sports events), sports should be objective and fair,' he said.

Elaborating on Indonesian hosting of the event, Alimudin said 'first of all this is an honor for Indonesia to host for the 2nd time the biggest event in Asia'.

'When we talk about the Asian Games, this year it would be bigger in terms of participants and the number of matches and the sports events that will be held; we also compare with the previous Asian Games this year it will be held in two cities,' he added.

Answering a question on the security measures taken by Indonesia for the Asian Games, he said 'in terms of security we do not take any risks so until now we have dispatched 2000 police [officers] to cover all and for sure those 2000 police would not be on the road all the time and one thing for sure is that 1000 police will stay.'

'So we want to secure the event and first for the opening ceremony we will not take any risks,' Alimudin said.

'One measure that would be taken for example is that we encourage athletes to use buses so they would not use their cars but if you take your cars there would be security measures supplied for your cars even for diplomatic and or official cars,' he added.

He went on to say that 'now we locked all venues we don't want to have any security disturbances before, during and after the event.'

Commenting on the quality of internet access during the games, Alimudin said 'in Indonesia internet access is like Iran. When you arrive at the airport and after passing customs, you may find many booths offering internet package for individuals as you won't need to change your telegram, whatsapp, etc.'

'You can use the Indonesian simcards, on the other hand you can use mobile wifi which is accessible by the time you reach the airport,' he added.

'You can have access to the internet in public places as well as in hotels,' he reiterated.

Assuring IRNA as regards Internet access, he said 'for broadcasting bigger Internet access has been provided.'

'We provided the media center which focuses on Jakarta convention center,' Alimudin said.

'Also in the athlete village and in Palembang the internet access is the same as Jakarta.'

'Basically Internet is provided by Internet service provider (ISP) or you will have direct connection with satellite and we will facilitate it for the reporters,' he said.

Referring to air pollution in Indonesia as a major problem, he said, 'how we counter the air pollution may be different in Palembang and Jakarta.'

'You may know that Jakarta is similar to Tehran we have more than 10 million people there so we decided to have traffic management system,' he added.

'We encourage people not to use cars so we us odd/even traffic scheme early in the morning until 9 pm,' he noted.

He reiterated that the public transport in Jakarta will be doubled so 'we have now more than 1000 units and we will increase the number.

We have the target of getting to the place not more than half an hour.

'This regulation has been set by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the organizers agreed that we have to be fast to reach out destination so we put limitation of private cars to enter the area, Alimudin said.

'First we have already put limitations since August 1 and it will be underway until the end of Asian Games.'

'Second we use the public transport and third we have set holidays for some schools and asked them to stay at home.'

'In Palembang we put the monitoring system and we tried also to reduce the haze.'

'The haze mostly comes from the forest fires because we started our dry season and it is easy to get fire not because of people burning but it is simply because of the dryness that makes grass catch fire.'

In response to a question on widespread diseases Indonesian ambassador said 'when we talk about contagious diseases, we may have two possibilities one those diseases coming from Indonesia such Diphtheria and some coming from other countries.'

The athletes may also bring diseases, he added.

On how to make preventions for the diseases, we have the vaccine of Diphtheria.

'We also want to make sure that the content of the vaccines are acceptable for Muslim requirements (being Halal),' he reiterated.

We are sure that until now there is no contagious disease in Palembang and Jakarta, he said, adding that we do not want to take risks.

'During the event we provide more than 300 medical personnel in each location.'

He went on to say that the medical personnel will anticipate if there are some new diseases coming from other countries or maybe measles and fever because they are really common in other countries.

'We have no sign of influenza in Indonesia,' he said.

We also sterilized the venue, the last venue which was sterilized was the storage of the cycling venue because there was a fire in the place so we rebuilt it and it did not impact the venue.

Elsewhere in his remarks Alimudin pointed to the cultural events slated to be held on the sidelines of the event, he said 'even before convening the Asian Games, we got the flame torch relay which was started from India and will be brought to 60 cities in Indonesia'.

'Iran will be the biggest and all spectators from Iran will be accommodated,' he added.

'After matches we provide 300 units of bus routes so you can use buses to different places for tourists not only for these two cities but for other provinces.'

When you enter Indonesia there would be some games and quizzes, you can answer and the winners will be announced.

'For buying handicrafts you don't need to go to other cities you can see all in Jakarta,' he said.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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