"The strong relations between Indonesian and Australian leaders make relations between the two countries special. For instance, (Indonesian) President Joko Widodo was the only head of state invited to a dinner hosted by then (Australian) prime minister Malcolm Turnbull at his private residence while he attended the ASEAN-Australia Summit held in Sydney in March 2018," Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Y. Kristiarto S. Legowo said in a press statement released on Monday.
He made the remarks while addressing a diplomatic reception held by the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra to mark the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia`s independence.
Some 400 invitees attended the event, including Vice Trade Minister Mark Coulton, Deputy Chief of Armed Force Major General Justin Ellwood, and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Minister for Multicultural Affairs Chris Steel.
The ambassador stated that Indonesia was also the first country visited by Prime Minister Scott Morrison shortly after his inauguration some time ago.
He said Morrison`s visit to Indonesia from Aug 31 to Sept 1 was of significance as the leaders of the two countries have agreed to upgrade bilateral cooperation to comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP).
The two nations also have concluded negotiations on Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), he noted.
The ambassador added that the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia`s independence has a special meaning for the Indonesian state and people as the country has increasingly been respected at regional and global levels.
"Indonesia is currently a member of G-20, which is a group of 20 influential countries in the world, and has also been appointed a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-2020 term," he explained.
Indonesia has also successfully hosted the 118th Asian Games and will nominate for the host of Olympiad 2032, he remarked.
Coulton stated that Indonesia and Australia are neighboring countries which have longstanding historical proximity.
He added that the status of Indonesia-Australia relations, which has been upgraded to comprehensive strategic partnership, is very important and special.
"Australia also praised Indonesia for its crucial role in ASEAN, because it highly influences the regional stability, security and prosperity," he pointed out.
Reporting by Ahmad Wijaya
Editing by Suharto