Australian defense minister submits defense white paper to Indonesia

The white paper on defense is a summary of the country`s defense policy, and is used as a guideline. Sharing of this document is expected to help build mutual trust and ensure transparency.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Australian Defense Minister Marise Ann Payne has submitted a copy of Australias white paper on defense to the Indonesian government.

The paper was submitted at a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu and his counterpart Marise Ann Payne on Monday (March 21).

During the meeting, the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in the defense sector.

"Our bilateral cooperation was going on well," the minister said.

The white paper on defense is a summary of the countrys defense policy, and is used as a guideline. Sharing of this document is expected to help build mutual trust and ensure transparency.

"Indonesias white paper on defense was still being formulated and work is in progress," the minister remarked.

The Australian Defense Minister said she expected that bilateral cooperation would proceed properly.

"Australia looks forward to (receive and study) Indonesias defense white paper," Payne said.

"I appreciate the cooperation in the field of defense. The submission (of the white paper) is intended to improve the relationship between Indonesia and Australia. This relationship is very dynamic and beneficial for both countries," Payne remarked.

Meanwhile, the two countries also discussed the development of Indonesia-Australia Defense Strategic Dialogue (IADSD).

Indonesias defense white paper will focus on defense policies and efforts to deal with real threats such as terrorism and radicalism, separatism, rebellion, natural and environmental disasters, violations of the border, piracy and theft of natural resources, epidemics, cyber war and intelligence sharing as well as issues of drug trafficking and abuse.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had met with her Australian counterpart Julie Bishop here on Monday, and discussed ways to expand bilateral relations.

"Indonesia and Australia already have close cooperation as reflected by the frequent contacts and meetings between the leaders of the two countries," Retno said after the meeting.

Retno said she and Julia Bishop discussed a number of important issues, including bilateral, regional and multilateral matters.

Bilateral issues included cooperation aimed at expanding trade and investment, development of digital economy, science and innovation, research and technology, eradication of terrorism and cyber security, she said.

The two foreign ministers welcomed the continuation of negotiations on Indonesian-Australian Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

"We welcome the progress that has been made since December. Our commitment is to restart negotiations in the context of Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," Retno said.

IA-CEPA is an important agreement for both countries to expand investment, she said.

The two foreign ministers also agreed to push for cooperation in the agricultural and energy sectors.

Ensuring better cooperation in the two sectors was necessary to support the government program to develop the animal husbandry and renewable energy sectors.

The two ministers agreed to push for more intensive "Indonesia-Australia Dialogue" to bring the two communities closer through cooperation.(*)

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