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Pacific nations were among the priorities of Indonesia's foreign policy, as they were unwittingly part of the large family of the region, where Africa was, undeniably, also a concern, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi affirmed.
“Indonesia is part of the Pacific. So, there is no harm and is a necessity to strengthen brotherhood in the form of cooperation,” the minister stated at Auckland's Sky City Convention Center on Thursday.
Marsudi noted that from the aspect of geographical conditions, Pacific countries and Indonesia, both had small islands, and faced several similar challenges, including the issue of climate change.
“March 2019 marked the peak of activities of the South Indonesia-Pacific Pacific Forum (ISPF) 2019 that became an event where Indonesia first sat with the Pacific family to discuss potential areas for cooperation,” she noted.
The minister further explained that Indonesia and Pacific countries usually never sat together and held discussions, though finally it took place in March 2019 during the ISPF, with a series of activities held at the Pacific Exposition exhibition on Thursday for the next three days.
“We are striving to build a momentum of attachment and brotherhood with one another where all of that comes from friendship, and once it is formed, we forge other forms of cooperation,” Marsudi reiterated.
The minister stated that the momentum that was interwoven was realised in the form of more concrete forms of cooperation, including in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and culture that forges brotherhood with Pacific countries.
“We bring in five provinces in the eastern part of Indonesia, where the population is a Melanesian ethnic group. While speaking about this, Indonesia is home to the largest Melanesian ethnic group owing to the huge number, and this is Indonesia as viewed from the Pacific side,” she stressed.
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