Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia have a crucial role in the Indo-Pacific, urging both parties to focus on security cooperation in the region.

The minister made the statement during the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong in Jakarta on Thursday.

Australia is one of the countries that has been nurturing strategic comprehensive partnership with the ASEAN. Minister Wong will participate in foreign affairs ministers' meetings of the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum on Friday (July 14).

Marsudi affirmed that it was not an easy task to maintain security and stability in the Indo-Pacific amid the current geopolitical dynamics.

"We (ASEAN and Australia) need to build an inclusive regional architecture where all parties feel safe and contribute to the prosperity of the region," the minister emphasized.

"Australia can become a true partner of ASEAN and anchor peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific," she remarked.

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Marsudi also expressed hope that Australia would become a development partner in the Pacific region, as she views the Pacific as an integral part of the Indo-Pacific region in a broader context.

"Therefore, concrete cooperation is needed between ASEAN and Pacific countries, including in areas, such as climate action and disaster risk reduction, food security, and blue economy," she noted.

Meanwhile, Minister Wong, for her part, affirmed Australia's support for ASEAN's priorities, including the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) that aims to promote a peaceful, stable, and prosperous region.

In addition, she noted that Australia has formulated the 2040 Southeast Asia Strategy to intensify economic cooperation with ASEAN.

"ASEAN's security is Australia's security. Hence, ASEAN's success is our success. We will continue promoting peace and stability in the region," Wong noted.

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

Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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