Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the Joint Press Conference with the Miniser of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno Marsudi

Thank you very much.

The positive thing of having had an excellent afternoon of meetings is that I agree with all that my good friend just mentioned and my task in this way is very much facilitated by the fact that the Minister already highlighted all the news that we have to give to you, which I can summarise in the fact that we have today started a new phase in upgrading the relations between the European Union and Indonesia.

From the point of view of the European Union, Indonesia is a key partner in a key region and it is our firm intention to work in a systematic and continued way to explore all the potential that is there for further cooperation in all different sectors. For trade and investment, I can confirm that we can build on the good work that has been done so far to cover the last mile and to move to important steps in the upcoming weeks. When it comes to our political cooperation, the Minister and myself were very often in contact in the last months in our common efforts to diffuse tensions, especially in the Middle East region and trying to affirm our common vision of international relations based on multilateralism, based on the respect of international law, and based on win-win situations.

We share a cooperative approach in foreign policy and that makes us natural partners in the international arena. We are both members of the G20 and this membership can help us in coordinating positions even more in the field of security, because we have seen over the last months that we face similar challenges when it comes to counter-terrorism, prevention of radicalisation. In this respect let me say something that from an European perspective sometimes my fellow citizens do not realise enough, which is that Indonesia alone has a bigger Muslim population than all the Arab countries put together and has a way of interpreting Islam that would be and is extremely helpful, not only for the region, not only for the country first and foremost, but also for Europe and for our region of the world. So in this respect we discussed practical ways of cooperating and tomorrow I will be honoured to continue working on this aspect.

Our partnership with Indonesia is part of the decision of the European Union to increase our relations and our cooperation with ASEAN as such. Again, it was a clear political choice to open a Delegation of the European Union to ASEAN. I will visit it tomorrow. And I am glad of the fact that we discussed with the Minister the interest of the European Union in further engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes, including the East Asia Summit. Let me finish by saying that I also had an excellent meeting with the President this afternoon where I reiterated the invitation to visit the European institutions soon. That would be the first ever visit of an Indonesian President to the European Union institutions and that would for sure highlight the new, upgraded level of our strategic cooperation. And I would like to thank you very much not only for this very fruitful day but for all the work that I think we have very successfully and fruitfully done together in these months and I am looking forward to the implementation of all the decisions we have taken today.

Thank you very much.

Source: Europa