In promoting Asia Pacific Open Government Process, Indonesia invites Australia to Bali in May 2014
As the Asia Pacific Open Government Process Conference comes closer, on 6-7 May 2014 in Bali, more and more reporters sought clarification on Indonesias invitation to Australia, recalling the current status on bilateral relations.
In a phone interview by Viva News to President SusiloBambangYudhoyonos Special Staff for International Relations, Dr Teuku Faizasyah, a number of clarifications were made.
Among the questions by the Vivanews reporter was the following:
Was the invitation to Prime Minister Abbott an indication that bilateral relations will be normalized?
Does it mean that the steps for a code of conduct would be waived?
Is the invitation due to the upcoming end of term for President Yudhoyono?
Was this invitation due to the recent developments between the meeting between Foreign Ministers Marty Natalegawa and Julie Bishop?
In response to these questions, Dr Faizasyah underlined that the invitation was sent out to ten other countries with the purpose of promoting open government partnership (OGP) in Asia and the Pacific. Indonesia was co chair with outgoing UK government and incoming Mexican government.
Regarding the timing of the invitation, Dr Faizasyah stated that it was not related to the efforts of the Foreign Ministers.
Dr Faizasyah did state that should a multilateral meeting result in a positive outcome for bilateral relations, then it would be a welcomed outcome. However one was not to affect the other.
If there is something to help nudge the process, I think it would be fine He stated
Asked whether Indonesia can insure that Australia would not conduct further acts of spying in the future, Dr Faizasyah reminded that any signing of a code of conduct (CoC) would be a commitment by each country to be mutually trustworthy. This agreement was not for Indonesia to ensure the validity, but for Australia to declare its commitment to promote a trusting relationship
The party to guarantee the end of any surveillance should not be from Indonesia, but for those that conducted such activities in the past. What is certain is that such a code of conduct is a common agreement to build a more stable relation in the future. As once the trust is reestablished, then we can mutually communicate openly, and be certain that illegal surveillances are no longer conducted. That is good for the stability of our relations. The signing of the document should alsoprovide a sense assurance from each of the partiesFaizasyah added
This is a matter of confidence building. Providing a sense of certainty and faith to one anotherDrFaizasyah stated also
When asked whether President SBY had set a deadline for the agreement, DrFaizasyah stated that it would be agreeable if the code of conduct between Indonesia and Australia could be reached before October so the next government could continue its cooperation in full throttle.
For the benefit of all, this is issue should be resolved by the current government he added.
This will be a political capital for the government of Australia when it interacts with the upcoming government. The current challenges will not have to be a burden in building relations for the upcoming new Indonesian government
If not, the next government will begin with the knowledge that there are still some issues with Australia that are yet resolved. And if that occurs, how can one expect to drive in third gear before completing the first gear? It wont be possible for the relations to accelerate before such strategic obstacles are overcome he stated
And they are quite strategic Dr Faizasyah added
From my perspective, from the perspective of the Indonesian government, I believe that it will also benefit the Australian government toresolve this matter during this time. So we dont have to leave it to another governments to solve Faizasyah concluded.
When asked about confirmation of Prime Minister Tony Abbotts attendance to the OGP, Dr Faizasyah underlined that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have the latest update on such a confirmation.