This is my first time in Jakarta, and it feels like home
Bogor, West Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. attended a bilateral meeting to discuss various issues during the latter's visit to the Bogor Palace, West Java, on Monday.

"Your Excellency President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Philippine delegates, once again, welcome to Indonesia. It is an honour to receive Your Excellency's maiden overseas visit, which emphasized our bilateral relations under Your Excellency's leadership," President Jokowi stated in his opening remarks during the meeting.

The president and First Lady Iriana earlier welcomed President Marcos and First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos' visit to the Bogor Palace on Monday. The visit to Indonesia is Marcos' maiden overseas visit since his inauguration as the Philippines president last June.

"I believe the relationship between Indonesia and the Philippines will be closer. I also want to express my deepest condolences for the passing away of former Philippine President Fidel Ramos last July," Jokowi remarked.

Before attending the bilateral meeting with respective national delegates, the two heads of state held a face-to-face meeting at the palace's back veranda for around 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, President Marcos stated that several factors encouraged him to select Jakarta as the destination for his first overseas visit.

"We are not only close by locations or geopolitical factors, but we also have close relations in our cultural and ethnic aspects. I believe that the partnership between our countries will grow stronger," Marcos stated.

He then expressed optimism that Indonesia and the Philippines would become regional partners that could enhance efforts to maintain political stability.

"This is my first time in Jakarta, and it feels like home. This is because of President Jokowi's warm welcome. We feel Indonesia also has the same desire to cooperate with the Philippines and bolster our relations that had been established for 75 years," he stated.

President Marcos and First Lady Araneta-Marcos arrived in Indonesia on Sunday (September 4) and were welcomed by Minister of Communications and Informatics Johnny G. Plate at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Before visiting the Bogor Palace, the Philippines presidential entourage had earlier visited the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta to lay a wreath and pay homage to the national heroes.

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Translator: Desca Lidya N, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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