Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia, this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), invited the South Pacific country New Zealand to collaborate in the efforts to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

"ASEAN and New Zealand must work together to nurture strategic trust in the region," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi remarked during the ASEAN-New Zealand Post-Ministerial Conference in Jakarta on Thursday.

"I think stability in the Pacific is integral to stability in the Indo-Pacific in the broader context," Minister Marsudi stated while underscoring the importance of maintaining stability in the Pacific region.

The minister also affirmed that Indonesia recognized New Zealand's role as the important connector with the Pacific region.

Hence, Marsudi invited New Zealand to work hand in hand to maintain strategic trust in the region while promoting adherence to international law, including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

She also noted that the ASEAN expected New Zealand's continued support for the bloc's centrality in shaping regional order and promoting collaboration in the Pacific.

During the meeting, Marsudi went forward to extend support for development in the Pacific, saying that Pacific countries are facing several development challenges, including climate change and ocean-related problems.

Related news: Indonesia lauds New Zealand as bridge between SE Asia, Pacific

Hence, she encouraged ASEAN nations, as Pacific countries' closest neighbors, to step in and offer support.

"Our partnership must result in concrete cooperation, in line with the AOIP (ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific)," she noted.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta called for strengthening the existing partnership to realize a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Minister Mahuta said that the progress made in the New Zealand-ASEAN partnership in the past 12 months aligns with her country's principle and approach in dealing with various challenges, including climate change.

"New Zealand's approach highly values our relations with ASEAN and opportunities emerging from this partnership," she remarked.

The minister then expressed New Zealand's eagerness to continue be involved in ASEAN dialogues discussing common issues.

In the midst of the current challenging situation, Minister Mahuta stressed the need to strengthen shared aspirations in the efforts to face various regional challenges.

Related news: Indonesia to hold ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum on 5-6 September 2023

Translator: Katriana, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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