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Indonesia mulls air ban retaliation
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-07-05 14:10
The Indonesian government has warned of possible retaliation to the flight ban imposed by the European Union if the region turned down a request to talk on the issue, local press said Thursday.

At present, there are no direct flights linking Indonesia with any cities within the 27-nation bloc, although flag carrier Garuda Indonesia had announced plans to resume flights to Amsterdam next year after it stopped the service in 2004.

Indonesian Transportation Minister Jusman Syafei Djamal said the ban was unfair and that his ministry was considering retaliatory measures against the EU.

"We regret their decision as the EU never gave us a chance for a dialogue. The President (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) has asked me to look for ways to fairly retaliate against them," the minister was quoted by English daily The Jakarta Post as saying.

Jusman said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed his ministry to provide explanations to the EU over what the government has been doing and is still doing to improve the safety of the nation's air transportation.

"We will soon do that," he said.

If the EU refuses to budge, Jusman said, the government will not rule out retaliatory measures such as banning Indonesian citizens from flying with European airlines.

"But the truth is, we have to avoid such actions. My point is there has to be international cooperation. There has to be room for dialogue."

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