Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Papua New Guinean counterpart, Justin Tkatchenko, on Thursday, visited Wutung Primary School on the Papua New Guinean side of its border with Indonesia.

According to the statement received here, the foreign minister considered the visit to be a historical feat in bilateral relations between both nations.

"Today, a new history was made. For the first time, foreign ministers of the two countries visited a joint project related to public interest, which is basic education, in the border region," Marsudi stated.

"The enthusiasm that I saw today emboldened the hope for the promising future of our bilateral relations," she added.

She affirmed that Indonesia is honored to help renovate Wutung Primary School, which emphasized the importance of educational infrastructure in the development of human resources. The primary school was renovated with Indonesia's grant provided through the Indonesia Aid programme.

Marsudi stressed that assistance to the school renovation accentuated Indonesia's commitment to supporting Papua New Guinea's development. Moreover, apart from benefiting from cordial relations, the school pupils will also be the ambassadors of Indonesia-Papua New Guinea relations.

"Let us continue nurturing friendship and cooperation to make our countries even closer," she remarked.

The Wutung Primary School is located two kilometres on the Papua New Guinea side from Indonesia's Skouw Border Post, which becomes the gateway for residents of the two sides of the border. The border post was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo in May 2017.

Electricity infrastructure

Apart from developing schools and other public facilities, Indonesia has developed 88 electric power poles and its supply infrastructure along the border to Wutung.

Marsudi stated that electricity would be essential for the surrounding regions, as it would replace generators as the source of electricity in local households.

Apart from facilitating the development of border regions, the electricity infrastructure developed by Indonesia's electricity company, PT PLN, reflects significant progress toward Indonesia's plan to export electricity to Papua New Guinea.

The minister stated that Indonesia also partnered with Papua New Guinea in other projects, such as waste management.

Moreover, a fire department center is currently being developed with Indonesia's assistance in Vanimo, she added.

"Indonesia is keen to show that the two countries not only share a border but also share prosperity, especially for residents in border areas," Marsudi remarked.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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