“Very good“ is how Danish ambassador Niels Erik Andersen describes the situation in Jakarta after the embassy reopened there Monday March 6.
The embassy was closed February 11 following protests against the publishing of Islamic-slanted drawings in Denmark last year. The Danish Foreign Ministry received threats towards embassy staff prompting the decision to close the offices.
The ambassador himself returned to Indonesia February 21 and says he has spent his time since “cleaning up”and working to beef up security around the embassy and official residences.
The embassy hasn’t seen any disturbances since the reopening but the ambassador is still reluctant to say what exactly changed in the situation thus enabling the staff to move back to Jakarta.
“It isn’t only one thing that has changed it. It’s a whole palette of different things, for instance the improvement in security. Now we have police stationed at the embassy and at my residence permanently. The Indonesian government provided us with protection from my return. Now we make sure it continues ourselves,” he says.
Happy to see the Danes back
News of the reopening of the embassy has also been received positively by the Indonesian government.
“I have spoken to two government representatives here and both were delighted that we were back,” Andersen explains.
Also Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda was happy to see the embassy open and said so following a recent closed-door meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“I think they feel more comfortable to return here and a manifestation of their confidence in what we have promised as the host country: We always guarantee and provide protection and security to all foreign missions here, including that of Denmark,” the minister said.