Visiting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reiterated his government’s recognition of Indonesia’s sovereignty over Papua on Friday (05/07).
“I would like to publicly reaffirm here, what successive Australian prime ministers have said in the past, that Australia recognizes, recognized in the past and will recognize in the future, the territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia that includes Papua,” Rudd said.Speaking at a joint press conference at the Bogor Palace, Rudd also praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s “strong leadership” and the special autonomy package accorded for Papua’s development.
“I encourage him in this direction. I am sure, as Australian Prime Minister, I will do everything I can in supporting him in this important direction as well,” he said.
Rudd, who was on visit for the third annual Indonesia-Australia Leaders’ Meeting, said that Yudhoyono’s government had already achieved success in Aceh, where the government also granted an autonomy package after it agreed with separatists rebels there to end decades of conflict in August 2005.
He said that Australia wanted to work with the government here in a way that could be helpful “in making sure that we bring about a long-term, stable, prosperous and secure Papua that is part of the Republic of Indonesia.”
A joint communique issued after the meeting of the two leaders, said that they “reaffirmed the two countries’ continued adherence to the principles of respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as mandated in the Lombok Treaty.”
“I am certain that under the leadership of Prime Minister Rudd, the cooperation, partnership and friendship between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia can continue to be stepped up,” Yudhoyono said on the same occasion.
Yudhoyono said that he and Rudd shared the same commitment in seeking new opportunities to boost cooperation.The leaders, it said, were encouraged by the many “positive developments” in their bilateral relationship since the previous meeting in Darwin last year.
In the joint communique Yudhoyono and Rudd also encouraged the further promotion of bilateral trade and investment cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.
“Noting that the two countries have shared interest in the area of food security, both leaders agreed to further explore trade and investment cooperation in the agriculture sector, including in the beef and cattle industry,” it said.
Tensions had risen several times between Indonesia and Australia over the alleged maltreatment of cows here, leading to a cut in beef imports from Australia.
The Leaders also recognised the importance of the two countries’ wide-ranging cooperation in tackling regional and global challenges, particularly transnational crimes such as terrorism, cyber-crime, drugs, corruption and money-laundering.
On the issue of human trafficking and people smuggling, the two countries agreed to continue to develop a regional solution.
The regional solution, the communique said, should involve countries of origin, transit and destination and cover elements of prevention, early detection and protection.
“They stressed the importance of avoiding unilateral actions which might jeopardize such a comprehensive regional approach and that may cause operational or other difficulties to any party,” the statement said.
Source: the Jakarta Globe