The networking between the Indonesians and the Australians will make our relationship stronger."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, has said Australia has been Indonesias partner since it represented the Republic of Indonesia (RI) at the Committee of Good Offices for Indonesia.

The statement came in response to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)s state speech on August 16, 2016 marking the 71st commemoration of Indonesia's Independence Day on August 17, 2016.

"The relationship between Australia and Indonesia has had its ups and downs, but the foundation will always be strong," the ambassador stated.

This strong foundation, Grigson reminded, was established when Indonesia chose Australia as its representative at the Committee, together with Belgium (representing the Netherlands) and the United States (the neutral side).

The Committee was formed by the United Nations to mediate the dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands after the Dutch colonial masters carried out Military Aggression I in 1947.

"Since the beginning, Indonesia chose to have a dialogue to resolve the conflicts," the ambassador added.

Yet, the Committee was considered a failure because the Dutch launched a second military aggression on December 19-20, 1948 that led to the UN establishing the United Nations Commission for Indonesia (UNCI).

Since then, Grigson underlined, Australia always supported Indonesia in every negotiation to defend its independence, including at the Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference on August 22-November 2, 1949 in which Australia was the mediator, representing the UNCI.

The conference became a stepping stone to Indonesias success in achieving independence as the Netherlands agreed to cede sovereignty to Indonesia by the end of December 1949.

Today, after 71 years of independence, Grigson noted that the relationship between Indonesia and Australia is even stronger through cooperation in various fields, including people-to-people contact.

"The networking between the Indonesians and the Australians will make our relationship stronger," he stressed.

In the multilateral arena, Indonesia and Australia are the co-chairs at the Bali Process, a continuing dialogue to address issues of human trafficking and illegal migration.

Indonesia and Australia, together with South Africa, form the troika in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

At the international level, Indonesia and Australia are actively sending their peacekeeping forces for accomplishing the UN peace missions in conflict areas.

"Indonesia is a great country and I believe it will become greater and greater in the future," Ambassador Grigson hoped.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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