Aidoghie Paulinus, Jakarta
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, has said that Africa and indeed, Nigeria, has become the priority of Indonesia’s foreign policy.
Marsudi, stated this in an interview with Daily Sun during the 34th Indonesia Trade Expo held at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE), Jakarta.
Marsudi also said Indonesian President Joko Widodo plans to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja after his second term inauguration on October 20.
Marsudi said Indonesia has mapped out plans to open markets and strengthen economic cooperation with Nigeria.
Marsudi said Nigeria and Indonesia have over the years enjoyed a bilateral relationship, and pledegd to sustain it.“Africa, and of course, Nigeria, has now become the priority of Indonesia’s foreign policy. So, we want to open markets, we want to strengthen the economic cooperation with African countries, including Nigeria,” Marsudi said.
Asked when President Joko Widodo planned to meet President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss issues of mutual interest, Marsudi said the visit will take place after the renewal of the mandate of President Widodo on October 20th.
“Insha Allah, insha Allah, we plan to visit, but of course, the President will renew his term on the 20th of October.
“So, just next week. So, after that, we will plan the visit,” Marsudi added.
On further areas of cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria, Marsudi, the first female Indonesian foreign minister further disclosed that the areas were many.
“Many! Many, many areas and many countries. So, the message is that we want to put Africa as a priority in our foreign policy,” Marsudi also said.
Recall that Indonesia established diplomatic ties with Nigeria in 1965, following the opening of the Indonesian Embassy in Lagos which was later relocated to Abuja in 2008.
Sequel to the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, Nigeria took similar step by opening the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta in 1976.