August 18, 2023
JAKARTA – United States President Joe Biden has conveyed his well-wishes to Indonesia on the country’s 78th Independence Day, which falls on Thursday.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the US president praised the relationship between the two countries, including a partnership to advance democratic principles as well as security and prosperity for their citizenry.
“Together, our countries are promoting a bright and resilient future in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biden said in the statement. “We are strengthening the people-to-people ties that form the basis of our partnership.”
Biden also lauded the cooperation between the US and Indonesia on climate and environmental issues, such as the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) led by the US and Japan to help developing countries shift away from fossil fuels.
During the Group of 20 (G20) Bali Summit in 2022, Indonesia received pledges amounting to US$20 billion over five years from developed countries and global private lenders.
However, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan later expressed his frustration over a lack of clarity on the US’ commitments to providing the fund.
The US president also commended Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN chairmanship and expressed his support for its theme, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”.
Biden was “unlikely” to attend next month’s ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Reuters reported last week, noting that its sources said Vice President Kamala Harris was expected to attend on his behalf. A US official said in a statement that the US was still a committed and reliable partner to ASEAN, regardless of the president’s potential absence.
The US president closed his statement by expressing his hope for “further deepening and expanding our cooperation and friendship in the year ahead”. (kuk)