Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Navy has invited the navies of 47 countries for the Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK), which will be held in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in June 2023.

"This MNEK exercise will be carried out in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi, by involving the navies of friendly countries," Commander of the Marine Combat Group of Indonesian Fleet Command II, Commodore Deny Prasetyo, informed at the “2023 MNEK Initial Planning Conference (IPC),” here on Wednesday.

Prasetyo, who is also serving as the commander of the MNEK 2023 task force, said the IPC was one of the stages of the implementation of MNEK 2023.

"Basically, this conference is for planning for the joint exercise implementation. There are 47 countries that we invited, and almost 60 percent of them are present here," he added.

The Indonesian Navy has invited countries, such as the United States, China, Russia, Canada, South Korea, and North Korea, for the exercise.

Although the conflict between South Korea and North Korea is fairly serious, Prasetyo said that no problems were faced during earlier MNEKs.

"We invite them (South Korea and North Korea) together; they are alright. There was no conflict between them when they met face to face here, and when we were discussing as well," he informed.

The Navy has prepared 17 Indonesian state warships, including the Wahidin Sudirohusodo-991 hospital vessel, for the exercise.

MNEK is an international-scale joint exercise that has been routinely held every two years since 2014. It is a non-war exercise that prioritizes maritime cooperation in the region with the aim of building a strong foundation, which is trusted by all countries.

The theme of MNEK 2023 is “Partnership to recover and to rise stronger.” Under the theme, the Navy has invited the navies of friendly countries to work together to rise from the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to humanitarian problems and deal with potential natural disasters.

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Translator: Syaiful H, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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