"The current situation in the region is driven by the desire to control the sources of essential commodities, such as energy, food, and water," Mahfudz noted at the Forum for Foreign Policy Studies organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Tuesday (Apr. 5).
According to Mahfudz, the three sources of livelihood are found in abundance in the Asian and African regions, especially in nations located close to the equator.
"The ownership and control over the sources of livelihood highlight the important role and influence that Asian and African countries have as the main suppliers of basic needs of the people in other regions," he remarked.
But, on the other hand, Mahfudz added, the countries of Asia and Africa also have the potential to become the centers of conflict of interest in the race to master the sources of livelihood in the region.
Mahfudz said the projection would take into account the common interests of the two continents.
"The first area of interest is to establish cooperation for the development of these resources to meet the national interests of each country, as well as to supply energy, food, and water to the global community. The second is how to preserve the sovereignty of each country," he affirmed.
He explained that Indonesia was one of the 13 countries located on the equator, thereby making it a nation with abundant resources.
"Accordingly, Indonesia has an important role in meeting the common interests of Asia and Africa to develop and supply the basic needs in the region and the world. However, the national interests must always be our priority," Mahfudz remarked.
The relations between Asian and African countries have become closely interwoven following the implementation of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955.
The relations between the two continents have increasingly strengthened through various cooperation mechanisms, one of which is the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) that was initiated during the Asian-African Summit 2005 in Jakarta.