Foreign Minister Marsudi: Teman-teman media yang saya hormati, saya baru saja melakukan pertemuan bilateral dengan teman dekat saya Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Meeting with…in the last two months we have had very intensive meetings.

Respected media friends, I have just finished a bilateral meeting with my close friend Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.  In the last two months we have had very intensive meetings.

Isu yang saya bahas dalam pertemuan bilateral pertama adalah, apresiasi pemerintah Indonesia terhadap bantuan yang diberikan Australia dalam memerangi asap, memerangi kebakaran hutan karena pemerintah Australia mengirimkan satu pesawat yang saat ini memang sudah kembali ke Australia.

One of the issues I discussed in the bilateral meeting was the Indonesian Government’s appreciation for the aid provided by Australia in tackling the haze, tackling the forest fires, because the Australian Government deployed one aircraft, which has now returned to Australia.

Yang kedua kita bicara mengenai rencana kunjungan PM baru Australia ke Indonesia dan kita bicarakan mengenai masalah waktu yang tepat tetapi tidak akan lama lagi PM akan berkunjung ke Indonesia.

The second issue we discussed was the planned visit of Australia’s new Prime Minister to Indonesia and we discussed issues of timing, but it won’t be long before the PM visits Indonesia.

Kita juga bicara mengenai masalah pertemuan, kita menyebutnya 2+2, that is the meeting between foreign and defense ministers of Australia and Indonesia in December, 21 December this year.

We also discussed the so-called 2+2 Meeting - that is the meeting between Australian and Indonesian foreign and defence ministers, in December, on 21 December this year. 

We also discuss the plan of Australia to open the Consulate General in Makassar, prosesnya sudah jauh dan mudah-mudahan pada awal tahun depan Konsulat Jeneral Australia di Makassar akan dapat segera berfungsi

We also discussed the plan of Australia to open the Consulate General in Makassar, which has progressed significantly and hopefully by early next year the Australian Consulate General in Makassar will be up and running. 

Kita juga membicarakan exchange of visit at the ministerial level because there are so many ministerial visits, two way visits, from our side, the investment, the Chairman of Investment Board of Indonesia, for example, visited Australia in August and will be back again in November. While from Australia, the Agriculture Minister, the Trade Minister also visited Indonesia with a large business delegation.

We also discussed the exchange of visit at the ministerial level [sic] because there are so many ministerial visits, two way visits, from our side, the Chairman of Investment Board of Indonesia, for example, visited Australia in August and will be back again in November. While from Australia, the agriculture minister, the trade minister also visited Indonesia with a large business delegation.

So, the bilateral relations, all in all is in a good shape.

Both of us are very committed to strengthening our bilateral relations in the future.

Once again thank you very much, Julie and I forgot to mention also that we are very happy to take over the chairmanship of OIRA from Australia.  We try to build, to develop to strengthen IORA cooperation based on what Australia has already done in the last two years.

Minister Bishop: Thank you Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.  I’m delighted to be here in Padang as part of the IORA meeting, as Australia hands over the chairmanship to Indonesia, and I am confident that in Ibu Retno’s capable hands IORA will reach new heights under the Indonesian chairmanship.

We have had a very good discussion, albeit a quick one today, because we have the meeting to continue with, but Ibu Retno and I have met on about four occasions in the last couple of months and on each occasion we discuss the many areas where we can cooperate and collaborate and work together to meet challenges, and also embrace opportunities.

In particular we focused on our trade and investment and economic relationship.  As Ibu Retno indicated, Minister Andrew Robb, our Minister for Trade and Investment, will be in Indonesia between the 17th and 20th of November.  It will be a delegation of five Australian ministers and about 250 business people from Australia to meet with their counterparts to discuss opportunities to enhance trade and investment and our economic ties.

We also had an opportunity to discuss the recent challenges with the forest fires here in Indonesia and Australia’s commitment to assisting with the Hercules plane, which was here for a week and did about 22 runs and managed to dump about 300,000 litres of water over the affected area.  We also had a lead plane that carried out a number of reconnaissance flights over the affected areas. 

We have also discussed another challenge which has affected both our nations, and that is foreign terrorist fighters.  And we had a discussion about the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, the complexities of that scenario and the way forward, to see if we can find a political solution to overcome the conflict and stop the humanitarian crisis that is continuing to unfold, particularly in Syria, but in surrounding countries.

We also spoke about our opportunities to enhance our relationship by the opening of a Consul General in Makassar.  And I thank you Foreign Minister Marsudi for signing off on the letter to confirm that Australia can open that and we are aiming to have our consulate open in the first half of next year.

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