Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says Indonesia is supporting the Myanmar government’s efforts to resolve inter-communal conflicts, including the conflict between the Muslim Rohingya and the Buddhist Rakhine ethnic groups in that country.

“On the Rohingya case, following our visit in January last year, the Indonesian government has provided US$1 million worth of financial assistance to build schools in two communities involved in the conflict,” Marty said after the signing of an agreement on visa exemption between RI and Myanmar in Nay Pyi Taw on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

“According to information from our ambassador in Myanmar, we have built four schools in Rakhine to boost the spirit of reconciliation among all communities in the state,” he said.

In the last several years, the number of Rohingya refugees cast ashore in Indonesian waters has continued to grow. Significant spillovers from the repression of ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar have sparked concerns over their situation. The Rohingya are a minority in Rakhine state and have not been recognized as native to Myanmar.

Marty added that both the Indonesian and Myanmar governments had enjoyed the longest period of good relations recorded in their history.

“Both countries have also experienced transitions to democracy; thus, they feel comfortable in sharing experiences and common problems,” he said. (ebf)