ASEAN 2023

Indonesia calls on ASEAN partners to maintain Indo-Pacific stability

Indonesia calls on ASEAN partners to maintain Indo-Pacific stability

Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (center) conveys her views at the 24th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (24th APT FMM) in Jakarta on Thursday, July 13, 2023. ANTARA PHOTOS/Aditya Pradana Putra/nz/pri.

The 56th Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) is being held in Jakarta on July 10-14, 2023.

The event includes the ASEAN foreign ministers' meetings with ASEAN dialogue partners, namely India, New Zealand, Russia, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

It also includes the ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

Earlier, at the 56th AMM opening, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi expressed Indonesia's keenness to reaffirm ASEAN's role as a contributor to peace and stability.

Hence, Indonesia -- as this year's chair of ASEAN -- has invited all ASEAN partners to preserve Indo-Pacific stability.

At the ASEAN foreign ministers' meetings with ASEAN dialogue partners, Minister Marsudi invited all ASEAN partners to collaborate in the efforts to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

For instance, at the ASEAN-New Zealand Post-Ministerial Conference in Jakarta on Thursday, Marsudi stated that the ASEAN and New Zealand must work together to nurture strategic trust in the region.

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

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

Apart from New Zealand, Indonesia also views Australia as an important partner for the ASEAN to play a crucial role in the Indo-Pacific, and hence, urges both parties to focus on security cooperation in the region.

"We (the ASEAN and Australia) need to build an inclusive regional architecture where all parties feel safe and contribute to prosperity of the region," Marsudi stated during the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong.

Australia is one of the countries that has been nurturing strategic comprehensive partnership with the ASEAN.

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

Marsudi also expressed optimism 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.

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

Hence, Indonesia calls on all ASEAN partners to contribute in realizing and maintaining an open and inclusive regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific.

"Only then can we achieve win-win cooperation for the sake of peace, stability, and shared prosperity in the Indo-Pacific," Minister Marsudi remarked during the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with China.

On the occasion, Marsudi stated that China has been ASEAN's key partner in preserving peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for over three decades.

Economically, China is ASEAN's largest trading partner, and vice versa, with their trade reaching US$975 billion. China is also the fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment in the ASEAN, with a value of US$13.8 billion in 2021.

"Our partnership is increasingly important amid growing challenges," Minister Marsudi noted.

Nevertheless, Marsudi also emphasized the need to invest greater efforts to further strengthen the well-fostered partnership.

To that end, the minister requested China's continued support for the concrete implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), including the plan to hold the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum (AIPF) in September.

"Let us solidify and further strengthen our cooperation to establish a mutually beneficial partnership that brings benefits to our region and beyond," Marsudi pointed out.

Moreover, on the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation involving Japan, China and South Korea, Marsudi also emphasized that the cooperation must be able to support the development of an inclusive regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific region.

“APT has been our anchor for over 25 years to address immediate challenges within this region. Today, we must ensure that this anchor of ours can be even stronger in tackling global challenges filled with uncertainties,” according to Marsudi, who co-chaired the APT Meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Wang Yi, and South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin in Jakarta, Thursday.

She further emphasized that APT should support the way ASEAN builds an inclusive regional architecture and implements AOIP through concrete actions.

“Let us make sure that APT is always an anchor we rely on to survive, endure, and thrive,” Marsudi concluded.

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