President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photographs before a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, last week. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Several Countries Express Support for Indonesia's 'Asean Outlook on Indo-Pacific' Initiative

BY :NUR YASMIN

JULY 01, 2019

Jakarta. Japan, South Korea, India and Australia, as partners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, have welcomed the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, adopted during a leader's summit in Bangkok on June 22.

The document details how Asean member states view cooperation among countries in the region, based on openness and respect for international law.

"President Jokowi introduced the adoption of the Asean concept on Indo-Pacific problems and the South Korean president conveyed his support for the concept," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after a meeting between Jokowi and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, last week.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also conveyed their support in separate bilateral meetings with Jokowi. 

The president said he looked forward to cooperation with these countries in various sectors.

"I appreciate Australia's positive response to the Asean Outlook. I also hope Australia could cooperate with Asean in various sectors in the outlook," Jokowi said during a bilateral meeting with Morrison, as quoted in a statement by the foreign ministry.

The 10 members of Asean officially adopted the Outlook on the Indo-Pacific after a year of negotiations. Indonesia initiated the formulation and it was also the main point of discussion during the High-Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation meeting in Jakarta in March.

The concept was drafted as a response to the United States' Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy proposed by President Donald Trump during his Asia tour in 2017 and at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam.

Australia, France, India and Japan also came up with their own strategies for cooperation in the region.

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