Rabu, 4 Zulhijjah 1439 / 15 Agustus 2018

Rabu, 4 Zulhijjah 1439 / 15 Agustus 2018

President Jokowi to start five South Asian nation tour

Selasa 23 Januari 2018 06:30 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Foto: Republika/ Wihdan
Jokowi says no change in planned visit to Afghanistan.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said he had no intention of changing his planned visit to Afghanistan despite security problem in the conflict-torn country. He is set to start a five-South Asian nation tour which will take him to Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on Wednesday (Jan 24).

"We already have plan to visit there," Jokowi said in the Jakabaring City in this South Sumatra capital on Monday.

Jokowi wanted to see the real condition in Kabul and Afghanistan in general. He will hold state visit to Afghanistan toward the end of this month on request to help create peace in that country long stricken by civil war.

"The planned visit is to honor an Afghan request for Indonesian involvement in peace building in that country," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said here earlier.

Jokowi will also attend ASEAN-India Summit to mark 25 years of ASEAN-India partnership, and the other four South Asian nations to enhance bilateral ties.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, the five countries are Indonesia's longstanding friendly partners. Some of them worked with Indonesia in the early days of struggle to organize Asia-Africa Conference, form Non-Aligned Movement and so on, she said. "Right now the countries are Indonesia's friendly partners, with which Indonesia has good economic relations. The value of our trade with the countries is quite large and we want to strengthen (the cooperation)," she said.

For its part, Indonesia is proposing preference trading arrangement (PTA) to them, she said. "Some of the countries have given a positive response to it, while the others have recommended a FTA (free trade area)," she said.

Indonesia agreed to a proposal for free trade, yet it will be realized in stages, she said. "Therefore, I always coordinate with the trade minister to hold negotiations (with them)," she said.

She went on to say the president's visit to the five South Asian nations is also aimed at fostering friendship and peace. "This way Indonesia can continue to disseminate the value of peace," she said.

She said the president's visit to Bangladesh is linked to unavoidable humanitarian issue as both countries have long cooperated in handling refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state. "When the president visits there, we will also offer extra assistance," she said.

She said Indonesia extended assistance to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh according to their desire. "We do not provide assistance that they do not want," she said.

The president will start his five South Asian nation tour in Sri Lanka on Jan 24-25. He will later visit India on Jan 25-26, Pakistan on Jan 26-27, Bangladesh on Jan 27-28, and Afghanistan on Jan 29.

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