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Widodo says Indonesia ready to mediate in South China Sea: Report

Published on Aug 12, 2014 1:59 PM
Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo (right) walks next to Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (second left) prior to their meeting in Jakarta on August 12, 2014. Kishida, who is on a two-day visit, held the meeting with Indonesia's president-elect to boost their relationship on economic and security issues. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo said his country was ready to act as an intermediary to calm rising tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, according to an interview published on Tuesday.

The Jakarta governor, who won a resounding electoral victory last month, told Japan's Asahi newspaper that he would work toward finding diplomatic - not military - solutions to the simmering conflicts.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, putting it at odds with countries including the Philippines and Vietnam, and there have been several tense encounters in the area over recent months.

"We're hoping for diplomatic solutions and, if necessary, Indonesia stands ready to play an intermediary role," Widodo said, according to the Asahi interview, which was published in Japanese. "I refuse to accept a military solution," he added.

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