Indonesia – Visit by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian (23-24 November 2021)

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, paid an official visit to Indonesia on 23 and 24 November. The visit testifies to the vitality of the strategic partnership between France and Indonesia, a country at the heart of the Indo-Pacific area.

The Minister was received by Mr Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, and spoke to his counterpart, Ms Retno Marsudi. He met Mr Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, and Mr Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Defence.

These discussions strengthened the strategic partnership uniting our two countries, thanks to the signing of a broad, diversified action plan in all areas of common interest, and deepened defence cooperation. The principle of joint meetings of foreign affairs and defence ministers (2+2 format) was endorsed, making France the third country – and the first non-Asian country – to benefit from this dialogue format with its Indonesian partner, commensurate with joint cooperation ambitions.

Several cooperation projects in the economic sphere, including a €500-million loan agreement from the AFD [French Development Agency], were signed to support Indonesia in its energy transition. People-to-people exchanges between our two countries were also highlighted with the announcement that the budget allocated for scholarships for Indonesian students in France will be doubled from 2022.

The Minister confirmed France’s solidarity with the Indonesian people, illustrated by an additional donation of one million COVID-19 vaccine doses, bringing the total amount given to Indonesia to 4.7 million doses.

M. Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated his support for Indonesia’s G20 presidency and the priorities of France, which will hold the Council of the European Union presidency in the first half of 2022. The two countries decided to coordinate their priorities on global health, ocean protection, the fight against climate change and the post-COVID-19 recovery.

During his meeting with Mr Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, the Minister announced several concrete projects to implement France’s development partnership with the organization, among other things to improve air quality in the region and strengthen its capacity to respond to emergency situations. He also reiterated France’s support for ASEAN’s efforts to resolve the crisis in Burma/Myanmar.

The Minister talked to all his contacts about the French and European strategies for the Indo-Pacific, which are consistent with the approaches taken by Indonesia and ASEAN to promote an international multilateral order which respects the rule of law and sovereignties. M. Jean-Yves Le Drian also presented these strategies during a conference at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, one of the main think-tanks in Indonesia.

A l’occasion de son entretien avec Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secrétaire général de l’ASEAN, le ministre a annoncé plusieurs projets concrets de mise en œuvre de son partenariat de développement avec l’organisation, notamment pour améliorer la qualité de l’air dans la région et renforcer ses capacités à répondre aux situations d’urgence. Il a également rappelé le soutien de la France à l’action de l’ASEAN pour résoudre la crise en Birmanie.

Avec tous ses interlocuteurs, le ministre a évoqué les stratégies française et européenne pour l’Indopacifique, qui s’inscrivent en cohérence avec les approches de l’Indonésie et de l’ASEAN en faveur d’un ordre international multilatéral, respectueux des règles de droit et des souverainetés. Jean-Yves Le Drian a également présenté ces stratégies lors d’une conférence au Centre for Strategic and International Studies, un des principaux think tanks en Indonésie.

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