Bali, 7 December 2022 (TDI): Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi held a series of bilateral meetings with international organization funding countries in the Pacific.

This took place ahead of the implementation of the Indonesia-Pacific Forum for Development (IPFD) in Bali, on December 6, 2022.

Talks were held with Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vanuatu, and the Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Meeting with Timor Leste Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Adaljiza Albertina from East Timor/Timor Leste spoke with Marsudi about the state of the negotiations over the land border.

According to Marsudi, it is critical to keep the right environment in place for negotiations to move forward significantly.

Meeting with the Foreign Minister of PNG

In a meeting with the Foreign Minister of PNG, Justin Tkatchenko, Marsudi agreed to keep advancing economic cooperation. Also, Tkatchenko underlined PNG’s stance on the idea of respecting Indonesia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Moreover, the Secretary of State for PNG is also committed to advancing the completion of the approval of the Basic Agreement on Border Arrangements and the agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Defence.

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In addition, Tkatchenko accepted Marsudi’s suggestion to extend the contract, which is set to expire in 2022. To improve trade cooperation between the two nations, they discussed creating a Preferential Trade Agreement and a Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Meeting with the Director General of MSG

Furthermore, several mutual commitments were undertaken during the discussion between Marsudi and Leonard Louma, Director General of MSG.

These included socio-cultural cooperation amongst Melanesian races and maritime economic cooperation, as well as institutional capacity improvement of the MSG Secretariat.

Additionally, they sought to improve collaboration in the area of regional security through the Regional Security Strategy Working Group. Marsudi said, “Indonesia will always increase its role as an MSG Associate Member.

It will also welcome efforts to increase cooperation in overcoming issues of common concern. This includes the impact of COVID-19, food security, blue economy, and climate change”.

Meeting with the official of Vanuatu

During this occasion, Marsudi also received Richard Kaltongga, Vanuatu’s Advisor to the Foreign Minister. At the meeting, approaches for enhancing bilateral cooperation were reviewed.