Indonesia, France keen to intensify bilateral cooperation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The governments of Indonesia and France are aiming to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation following the visit of French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Marc Ayrault here on Tuesday.

“France is one of Indonesias important partners in the European Union (EU),” Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi stated after receiving the visit of her French counterpart here on Tuesday.

Bilateral discussions between the two foreign ministers focused on economic cooperation, including efforts to encourage the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and the EU.

France has supported the efforts to expand the market of Indonesian timber products, which have received the EUs Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade license.

“We also discussed about developing a similar licensing process for Indonesian palm oil products,” Minister Marsudi noted.

Marsudi revealed that the trade value between Indonesia and France had reached over US$2.3 billion in 2016, while more than 238 thousand French tourists had visited Indonesia last year.

The two ministers also inked two memoranda of understanding on education and training for diplomats and space activity cooperation with French space agency CNES.

Both ministers also agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation in the field of counterterrorism.

“As every country faces the same threat, hence, France and Indonesia have a high commitment to improve cooperation in the field of counterterrorism,” Minister Marsudi remarked.

They also discussed regional and global issues of mutual concern, including the efforts to create stability in the Middle East.

Indonesia and France share the same stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Marsudi noted.

“We have the same view on the importance of the two-state solution,” Marsudi pointed out

Before meeting Marsudi, the French minister had conducted a meeting with the Indonesian minister of energy and mineral resources to discuss cooperation in the field of renewable energy and paid a state visit to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Presidential Palace on the same day.

Foreign Minister Ayraults visit was also aimed at making preparations for French President Francois Hollandes planned visit to Indonesia in March 2017.

Source: Antara News