Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The third Indonesian Cultural Festival (ICF) held on September 13-16, 2018 in Baku City, Azerbaijan is expected to further strengthen bilateral cooperation of the two countries.

The Indonesian Embassy in Baku said in a statement received by by Antara here on Sunday that the ICF 2018 has been opened by the Minister of Education and Culture, Muhajir Effendi

According to the minister, a cultural festival is a way to promote Indonesia`s potentials and products abroad. He hoped that the ICF will be an opening for sustainable cooperation in the on-going bilateral ties between Indonesia and Azerbaijan.

"Hopefully the ICF is a sign of good cooperation between Indonesia and Azerbaijan, not only in the field of culture, but also education and development of Indonesian language in Azerbaijani higher education institutions, and of course the economic sector," Muhajir said.

He also emphasized that the Indonesian Cultural Festival was an event that lifted the dignity of Indonesian people.

The festival which opened on Thursday (Sept 13) was continued with the ICF Expo held at Founten Square, Baku City on Saturday.

According to the Indonesian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Husnan Bey Fananie, the ICF gives a positive opinion about Indonesia to the Azerbaijani people, and proves that Indonesia is increasingly recognized in one of the Caucasus countries.

"The ICF is a proof that we want to advance Indonesia`s development sectors, including culture and economy, and strengthen Indonesia`s diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan," the Ambassador said.

He added that there are hundreds of thousands Azerbaijani people visiting the ICF, even enliven the event by participating in arts and cultural performances. It shows that local people increasingly know Indonesia, which is rich in traditional cultures.

At the opening of ICF 2918, a number of Azerbaijani students performed several traditional Indonesian dances, such as Ondel-Ondel from the Betawi Tribe (Jakarta), Rampak Gendang (West Java), Enggang from Dayak Tribe (East Kalimantan), Mambri (Papua), a dance from Tulang Bawang Barat District (Lampung), Jajar Gandrung (Banyuwangi, East Java) and Reog Ponorogo (East Java).

The 2018 ICF is participated in by several ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Some entrepreneurs from Indonesia will also enliven the ICF while promoting their products, such as batik, furniture and handycrafts.

Editing by A. Abdussalam

Reporter: Libertina W. Ambari
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
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