President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) of Indonesia held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Mark Brown, on Monday at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Mark Brown conveyed his greetings and appreciation to Indonesia for its efforts to bring ASEAN closer to the Pacific.

“The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands extends his congratulations to Indonesia, and Indonesia is appreciated for its role as a key driver in bringing ASEAN closer to the Pacific,” said Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi in her statement after the meeting.

The two leaders also welcomed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat. As it is known, PM Mark Brown attended the 43rd ASEAN Summit in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

“This afternoon, a cooperation agreement was signed between the ASEAN Secretariat and the PIF Secretariat. This is an implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific initiated by Indonesia in 2019, then translated during Indonesia’s chairmanship by embracing the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and PIF,” Retno explained.

Additionally, during the meeting, PM Mark Brown also expressed his respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries. According to Retno, PM Mark Brown emphasized that cooperation with partner countries is his top priority.

“The Prime Minister of Cook Islands conveyed that the top priority for the PIF is discussing development priorities with its partner countries,” she concluded.

Accompanying the President in the meeting were the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD; Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi; and the Cabinet Secretary, Pramono Anung.