Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), on Monday morning, took off to Melbourne, Australia, to participate in the ASEAN-Australia Summit on March 4-6 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of partnership between the regional bloc and the country.

"Today, I, along with a limited delegation, will fly to Melbourne, Australia, to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit," he remarked during a press conference prior to his departure at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, Jakarta.

President Jokowi noted that the special summit would bring together representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia to identify workable ways to optimize their comprehensive strategic partnership to pave the way for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

"I will make the most of this opportunity to encourage economic integration, energy transition, and digital transformation while emphasizing the importance of collaboration and consistently respecting international law, including in relation to Palestinian issues," he remarked.

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During his visit to Australia, the head of state revealed that he would also hold bilateral meetings with prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand, and Cambodia.

"I and the entourage are scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Wednesday, March 6," he added.

The president departed from the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base at around 10 a.m. local time.

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, State Secretary Minister Pratikno, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, and Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) General Agus Subiyanto accompanied President Jokowi during the press conference.

The ASEAN and Australia first established dialogue in 1974 before elevating their relations to a strategic partnership in 2014, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of their ties.

The two parties then agreed to further intensify their ties to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2021.

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Translator: Rangga P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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