President Jokowi Receives Courtesy Call from New Zealand’s Foreign Minister
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Monday (15/11) received a courtesy call from Foreign Minister of New Zealand Nanaia Mahuta, at the Merdeka Palace.
During the meeting, the President addressed a number of things, primarily on cooperation in and with the Pacific.
The President said that New Zealand is Indonesia’s important partner in the Pacific and he seeks stronger cooperation between the two countries.
“I appreciate the support given by New Zealand for the 2nd Pacific Exposition, which was held virtually,” the President said.
On that occasion, the Head of State said that Indonesia is paying special attention to the Pacific during Indonesia’s G20 presidency next year, adding that representatives from Pacific countries would also be invited to the G20 Summit in October next year.
“At the COP26 summit last week, Indonesia specifically also expressed aspirations of small island countries that are included as AIS (Archipelagic and Island States),” he said.
In the meantime, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi in her statement said that the courtesy call was the first overseas working visit made by her New Zealand counterpart.
According to Retno, Indonesia and New Zealand have had a comprehensive partnership since 2018. The partnership has become a strong foundation in the efforts of the two countries to continually strengthen cooperation, including during the difficult times amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The partnership is based on the principles of mutual benefit, mutual respect, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.
In the meeting, the President also pointed out the development progress in Papua and expressed his gratitude to New Zealand for the support towards Indonesia’s territorial integrity.
The President underscored that respect for human rights has always been his concern, including in Papua, making the development of Papua remains a priority.
“I focus on infrastructure development in Papua to connect with other regions of Indonesia so that the Papuan people can enjoy prosperity,” he said.
For the record, a number of massive infrastructure developments that have been carried out include a 3.462 kilometer-long Trans-Papua road, a 1.098 kilometer-long Papuan Border road, and a 1.3 kilometer-long Youtefa Bridge. The infrastructure development has begun since the Administration of President Jokowi back in 2015.
“I really hope that New Zealand can understand the development of Papua comprehensively,” the President said.
At the end of the meeting, the President gave a souvenir in the form of a noken woven bag and explained the hand-made process for the bag that he bought during his last visit in Papua. (BPMI of Presidential Secretariat/UN) (RIF/MUR)