Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi affirmed that Indonesia has continued to intensify its cooperation with countries in the Pacific region amid geopolitical rivalries in the Indo-Pacific region.

While delivering the 2024 Annual Press Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bandung, West Java, on Monday, the minister stated that Indonesia, as the ASEAN chair in 2023, has bolstered cooperation with countries in the Pacific region to realize an inclusive Indo-Pacific regional architecture.

"This is to ensure that the Pacific region remains safe, peaceful, and stable and contributes to making the Indo-Pacific a center of growth," she affirmed.

Marsudi noted that during Indonesia's G20 presidency and ASEAN chairmanship, it had invited representatives from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in order to involve and increase cooperation with countries in the Pacific region.

According to the minister, one of the concrete efforts made under Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship is the cooperation between the ASEAN Secretariat and the PIF Secretariat.

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Marsudi stated that Indonesia's involvement in the Pacific was also apparent when it became the initiator of cooperation with archipelagic and island countries, namely the Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum) in 2018.

The AIS Forum held its first-ever summit in Bali in October 2023 that was attended by leaders of archipelagic and island states.

The AIS Forum Summit agreed on strengthening cooperation to promote the interests of archipelagic and island countries in sectors that are of common interests, such as climate change mitigation, adaptation, and disaster management.

They also include creating sustainable economic development and decent blue job opportunities through responsible and sustainable implementation of the blue economy, fisheries, and aquaculture.

Moreover, protecting the oceans from various challenges, including ocean health degradation, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, plastic waste, and marine pollution, as well as good ocean governance were also of mutual interest to the countries.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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