Jakarta. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday (30/11) that the 10th Bali Democracy Forum will be held in Tangerang, Banten, due to the ongoing eruption of with Bali's Mount Agung.
"The government has decided to change the location of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum to the ICE [Indonesia Convention Exhibition] in Tangerang, Banten," Cecep Herawan, director general for information and public diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, said during a press conference in Jakarta.
The annual forum, which will be held on Dec. 7-8, was previously scheduled to take place in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Cecep emphasized that the situation in Bali is normal.
"We decided to change the location to avoid the possibility of any inconvenience for the participating delegates," Cecep said.
Denpasar's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport suspended operations on Monday, due to spread of volcanic ash from Mount Agung, located around 70 kilometers away on the eastern part of the island.
The closure caused cancelations of hundreds of domestic and international flights to and from Bali, leaving more than 9,000 foreign tourists stranded since the volcano started erupting over the weekend.
The airport resumed operations on Wednesday afternoon.
Twenty-nine delegations, comprising country officials and international organizations, are scheduled to attend this year's BDF.
Nauruan President Baron Waqa has confirmed his attendance, along with 16 other ministerial-level representatives, including from Madagascar, Palestine, Qatar, Suriname and Turkmenistan.
The Foreign Ministry said the number of participants has grown since last year, while several more countries are still inquiring about the event.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is expected to deliver a keynote address during the opening of the forum.
Established in 2008, BDF is an inclusive and open intergovernmental forum on democratic development in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at promoting and fostering regional and international cooperation for peace and democracy.