Qureshi meets Indonesian FM, seeks support for Pakistan’s bid to become ‘Full Dialogue Partner’ of ASEAN

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met her Indonesian Counterpart Retno Marsudi, and sought Indonesia’s continued support for Pakistan’s bid to become ‘Full Dialogue Partner’ of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency.

In a meeting held on the sidelines of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Jeddah, Qureshi conveyed his felicitations on the re-election of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi noted that Pakistan and Indonesia enjoyed a long-standing relationship based on religious and cultural affinities, mutual trust, and commonality of views on a number of regional and international issues.

The two foreign ministers agreed that as the largest and second largest Muslim majority states, Indonesia and Pakistan, were uniquely placed to intensify bilateral collaboration for the mutual benefit of their two peoples and for supporting initiatives for the projection of rightful image of the Muslim faith and the Ummah.

Recalling the Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s successful visit to Pakistan in 2018, Qureshi termed it as a high point in bilateral relations. It was agreed that the second round of policy planning dialogue was a fruitful exercise in exchanging views on a wide range of issues and should be followed up by the next round in 2019.

During the meeting, Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed keen desire to further expand bilateral economic engagement.

Mentioning the current volume of bilateral trade at US$3 billion, the foreign minister observed that given the economic complementarities, the trade volume could be enhanced substantially. He expressed Pakistan’s appreciation for Indonesia’s opening of 20 additional tariff lines in the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

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The foreign minister of Pakistan highlighted the prospects of joint ventures with Indonesia in the field of defence production.

Both the ministers also agreed to hold the inaugural meeting of the Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation in Pakistan soon.

The Indonesian foreign minister lauded Pakistan’s role in regional security and stability. She also apprised of the initiatives Indonesia envisaged to help promote the cause of peace and stability in the neighbourhood.

The two sides agreed to increase the frequency of high level bilateral exchanges to maintain the current momentum in the growth of bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.