July 13, 2023
JAKARTA – In back-to-back trilateral meetings on Wednesday with Russia and China and with Australia and India, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi asserted that Indonesia was the region’s partner for peace and prosperity.
Delegates grappled with the Myanmar issue during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat earlier in the day, amid a flurry of ASEAN high-level meetings this week.
Speaking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, director of the Chinese Communist Pary’s central foreign affairs commission, Retno said Indonesia was open to engaging and discussing with its partners to contribute to global peace, stability and prosperity.
Wang is representing China during the series of ASEAN high-level meetings in Jakarta this week in place of Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was unable to attend due to health reasons.
“In all dialogues, Indonesia is always firm and consistent in upholding international laws and all values and principles of the United Nations Charter,” Retno told the diplomats on Wednesday.
She added that the world needed more dialogue and more collaboration amid global challenges.
“Of course, I will make use of the opportunity of our meeting today to discuss especially what we can do together for peace, prosperity and the stability of the world. And of course, I’m also willing to discuss some ASEAN issues with you,” Retno said.
Before her trilateral meeting with Russia and China, Retno also held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from New Zealand and China.
Speaking to reporters after the back-to-back meetings, Retno said Indonesia and China had discussed bilateral economic cooperation as well as guidelines to accelerate talks on the South China Sea code of conduct in the region.
Retno also met with Lavrov separately after the trilateral meeting that also involved China, discussing various issues related to their planned bilateral visits. They also spoke about “many issues related to food and energy security”, but she did not elaborate further.
The war in Ukraine, now in its 17th month, has caused a devastating impact on food and energy security around the world.
In an interview with Kompas daily, Lavrov said the “armed confrontation” in Ukraine would not end unless Western countries stopped trying to “defeat” Moscow.
“Why doesn’t the armed confrontation in Ukraine come to an end? The answer is very simple: It will continue until the West gives up its plans to preserve its domination and overcome its obsessive desire to inflict on Russia a strategic defeat at the hands of its Kiev puppets,” reads a transcript of the interview published on Russia’s foreign ministry website, Reuters reported.
To Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Retno said their three countries had a lot in common as democracies that respected international law and maintained peace and stability.
“I appreciate very much your support [for] the centrality of ASEAN and the implementation of the AOIP,” Retno said, referring to the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
She also said she was looking forward to India and Australia’s active participation in the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure Forum, to be held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in September.
Australia is a member of Pacific Islands Forum while all three countries are members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
“This is another contribution [from] Indonesia to make the Indo-Pacific a region of peace and prosperity, and to engage partners in an inclusive manner.
“I do hope that we will be able to identify concrete ideas to enhance our practical cooperation in areas such as economic, maritime and food security,” Retno said.