Indonesian President Joko Widodo highly appreciated the consistency and commitment of the government of the Federated States of Micronesia in respecting Indonesia`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We have agreed to strengthen our cooperation at various fora in the South Pacific region, including the Pacific Islands Forum," Widodo told journalists at a joint press conference with visiting President Peter M. Christian in Bogor on Wednesday, July 18.
Christian`s state visit was a new milestone for the two countries` relations, he stated, adding that the two governments pledged to enhance the countries` cooperation in various sectors, particularly in maritime and inter-island connectivity.
"As archipelagic countries, we have agreed to strengthen our cooperation in maritime and inter-island connectivity." In this connection, Indonesia has offered the N219 aircraft to help strengthen the country`s inter-island connectivity and meet the needs of its air transportation.
"Christian will visit the state aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) in Bandung tomorrow," he noted.
Indonesia and Micronesia share many similarities. They both belong to the Pacific nations and are categorized as archipelagic countries, he remarked, adding that Indonesia has at least 17 thousand islands, while Micronesia possesses around 600 islands.
Indonesia and Micronesia were also willing to support their business people for having a better interaction. Therefore, the Micronesian entrepreneurs would be invited to join the Great Expo Indonesia 2018.
Indonesia also vowed to appoint its honorary consul to the country to strengthen bilateral relationship. Indonesia would also offer scholarships and development cooperation programs in an effort to strengthen people-to-people contact among citizens of the two countries, he concluded.
Meanwhile, Christian revealed that the two countries have had a diplomatic relationship for 27 years, and his government is committed to working together with Jakarta in various fields, including making a closer relationship through people-to-people contact.
In doing so, a university student exchange program and inter-university cooperation would be part of the programs, he stated, adding that his government also welcomed a better economic cooperation and closer relationship among businessmen of the two countries.
Christian, who has Ambonese ethnic blood ties, also congratulated Indonesia for its success in becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
During his visit to Indonesia, Christian is scheduled to visit Ambon, the capital city of Maluku Province. For him, Indonesia is not a stranger, because he has ethnic blood ties with the people of Ambon, in which he belongs to the third generation of Ambonese in Micronesia.
"This shows that the two nations have indeed had people-to-people relations for tens and even hundreds of years ago," Widodo remarked. (ANTARA)