Indonesian, Belgian foreign ministers discuss palm oil, wood issues

Indonesian, Belgian foreign ministers discuss palm oil, wood issues

Menlu Retno Marsudi (ANTARA/Rosa Panggabean)

Brussels (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi held talks with her Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders and Vice President of the European Commission for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to discuss various issues on Tuesday.

"I have just held talks with Mogherini to discuss (various issues), ranging from palm oil to wood," Marsudi informed reporters after accompanying Vice President Jusuf Kalla at a meeting with the Belgian king and queen.

Marsudi is on a visit to Belgium to attend the opening of the Indonesia Europalia festival, in which Indonesia is a partner country. The festival will last until January 2018, Ance Maylany, first secretary for information, social, and cultural function of the Indonesian Embassy in Brussels, stated on Wednesday.

At a meeting with Reynders, the two foreign ministers discussed various issues, including economic relations between the two countries.

Indonesia and Belgium have the potential to enhance relations, particularly in the fields of trade and investment, Marsudi said.

Trade between the two countries, which rose 16.66 percent in the first half of 2017, should be maintained and increased further, she remarked.

Meanwhile, Reynders lauded Indonesias active diplomacy, particularly in settling the humanitarian crisis in Myanmars western Rakhine state.

Similar to any other European Union (EU) country, Belgium has agreed on the need to implement recommendations on humanitarian assistance for Rohingyas, Reynders said.

The two foreign ministers also agreed to enhance economic relations, particularly in the fields of trade and investment.

At a meeting with Mogherini, the Indonesian foreign minister stressed the meeting was aimed at exchanging views on strategic issues in the two regions, particularly the latest developments in North Korea and a referendum in Catalunya.

Marsudi said Indonesia shared EUs viewpoint that the referendum is a domestic issue, and all related parties must comply with the rules of the law.

The minister said she has established good communication with Mogherini; hence, Indonesia has received a good reference, particularly related to the EUs views and stance, when it takes a stand on various developments in the world.

Touching on negative campaigns against palm oil, Marsudi expressed hope that the EU would offer fair treatment to Indonesian palm oil and wood, which have received certification.

Reported by Zeynita Gibbons