20
January

Two F16 Jet Fighter grant from the US arrived at Air Force Base of Iswahjudi, Magetan, East Java on 18th January. The jets fighter were the last jetfighters deployed of 24 total units of the US jets grant. In response to this, a Military observer from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Mochamad Nurhasim in an interview by phone on RRI World Service Voice of Indonesia on Saturday (20/01) said the US jets fighter grant is from the US is part of its foreign politics that prioritizes the consideration of the US interest in Asia, including Indonesia.

One of the considerations of reopening military cooperation between Indonesia and the US is, in addition to the fact that Indonesia has changed, from political side, I think there is a significant change. There is democratic consolidation process.There is criteria of human rights and so on. There is also an opportunity of the world political constellation. I think the US interest in Asia and South East Asia has been one of factors to continue jet fighter grant program,” Mochamad Nurhasim said.

Moreover,MochamadNurhasim explained the continuity of Jet Fighters Grant from the US to Indonesia has been based on the long term political consideration in the region. He further said Washington has also counted the domestic political constellation  and the role of Indonesia in the regional security of Asia and South East Asia, including political fluctuation in the South China Sea and the growth of China power as one new economic power and new power in the field of military after the collapse of the Soviet Union.//// (VOI-Ahmad Faisal/ahm)

20
January

Japan is exploring cooperation with Indonesia on the conservation of Citarum River in West Java as part of a number of project agreements between the two countries. This was stated by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi who accompanied President Joko Widodo to receive the special envoy, Toshihiro Nikai sent by Japanese Prime Minister Toshihiro Nikai, along with his delegation, at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Friday. Environmental cooperation was among the topics discussed during a bilateral meeting, including the exploration of the conservation of Citarum River which still needs a separate formulation. Minister Retno Marsudi noted that the deputy of the Japanese environment minister will visit Citarum River for a preliminary assessment of conservation cooperation. President Joko Widodo has ordered an immediate revitalization of the longest and largest river in West Java, considering its vital role in upholding the livelihood of the people. (Ant)

20
January

President Joko Widodo believes the commemoration of Indonesia-Japan 60th diplomatic anniversary should act as an impetus to implement deals that have been agreed upon by the two countries. The statement was released by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, after the President met with the Japanese Prime Minister`s Special Envoy, Toshihiro Nikai at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java on Friday. She noted that the President has emphasized since the beginning that the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan should not be just a ceremonial event. Minister Retno Marsudi also said that during the meeting, Nikai reaffirmed the importance of Indonesia to Japan and the South-East Asian region. (Antara)

20
January

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi will accompany President Joko Widodo to visit five countries in South Asia, namely Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from 24 to 29 January. In the 4 countries, the President will make a state visit and to India, a working visit. The main focus of this visit is to enhance economic cooperation. Director of South and Central Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdy Piay said that India is Indonesia’s big market and has a huge surplus. In Pakistan, Srikanka and Bangladesh, Indonesian trade is also surplus although the amount is relatively small. With Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the trade between the two countries can still be strengthened.

“…The focus of the economy will also be strong as we want to establish stronger trade cooperation, especially with those three countries namely Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In the visit of Bangladeshi prime minister in 2017, it’s already encouraged with mutual desire to strengthen trade relations. The possibility of preferential trade agreement is being explored,” Ferdy Piay said.

Ferdy Piay further explained that with Sri Lanka, cooperation through preferential trade agreement scheme will also be strengthened. Indonesia and Pakistan have already had Preferential Trade Agreement but cooperation will be enhanced. In addition to strengthening economic cooperation, the visit to Afghanistan boosts Indonesia's humanitarian diplomacy. This visit is also part of Indonesia's vision to develop a stable and prosperous Indo Pacific region. On the same occasion, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said that the population of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh is huge, reaching more than 1 billion people. These countries are non-traditional markets of Indonesia. Although the cooperation has been good, many kinds of cooperation will be developed. In India, President Joko Widodo will attend the 25th Anniversary of India-ASEAN and attend the India Republic Day. On the Indian Republic Day, 10 ASEAN heads of state are invited as the guests of honor. ((VOI-Sekarsari/Nrl/Trans Andhyka-Rahmana)