President Joko Widodo, right, receives US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, and US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim at the State Palace, Jakarta, Dec. 13, 2021. (Handout photo: Agus Suparto, Presidential Press Bureau, via Antara)

Indonesia, US Deepen Maritime Ties

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

DECEMBER 14, 2021

Jakarta. Indonesia and the US agreed on Tuesday to extend maritime cooperation during a visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

The updated agrement will be in effect until 2026. 

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“We are deepening our cooperation on maritime issues, including maritime security, resources management, fisheries conservation, safety and navigation, economic activity, science and technology,” Blinken said in a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi in Jakarta. 

According to Blinken, such cooperation is crucial with so much happening by sea in the region, and not to mention the climate crisis. 

“At the critical moment when the climate crisis threatens our oceans, waterways, coasts, marine life, cooperation on maritime issues is particularly vital. And I would argue, more important than ever,” he said.

During his visit, Blinken also inked bilateral deals on education and the Peace Corps — the US’ volunteer program. 

“We are taking steps towards deepening and strengthening the cooperation between our countries in key areas that are going to have an impact on the lives of our citizens,” Blinken added.

Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific

Retno told the same presser that the bilateral meeting also addressed regional issues, including the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The Asean document advocates cooperation in four key areas — namely maritime cooperation, connectivity, sustainable development goals, economic and other possible areas for cooperation. 

“It is time for Asean to implement those four key areas of cooperation with its external partners in an inclusive manner. A concrete partnership that is mutually beneficial will contribute to the stability and peace in Indo-Pacific,” Retno said.

“Indonesia hopes the US can become a concrete partner in the implementation of the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” she added.

On maritime, the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific promotes cooperation for peaceful settlement of disputes, among others.

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