Bilateral Praise as Tony Blair Stops by Jakarta

15 April, 2013 | Source: The Jakarta Globe

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday to discuss ways to strengthen ties between the two countries.



In his address, Yudhoyono said thateven after ending his term as prime minister, Blair had made a significant contribution to world peace and many other global issues.

“I have been following your hard work and contribution to the world, more specifically to the Middle East and the issue of climate change, development issues and others. I hope that [Indonesia and the UK] can continue to make our contribution to the security and prosperity of the world,” the president said.

Yudhoyono told Blair he hoped his country was also monitoring the developments and challenges Indonesia faced.

“I would like to hear your view on ways to increase our partnership,” he told Blair.

Blair praised Yudhoyono on his visit to Britain in October and Indonesia’s achievement in maintaining a strong economy. “I heard that Indonesia’s economic growth reached 6.2 percent. Even Europe could not achieve this,” he said.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Yudhoyono signed a string of agreements on trade, defense and education during the latter’s visit to London.

They also announced a 7.5 billion pound ($12.1 billion) deal for BP to develop liquid natural gas in Indonesia, and signed an agreement strengthening links between the two countries’ universities.

Following the October visit, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro met with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, in Jakarta and days later Indonesia sent a team to London to negotiate the purchase of warships from Britain

Hammond told the Financial Times recently that he was hopeful defense sales could form a key part of last year’s pledge by Cameron and Yudhoyono to double bilateral trade by 2015.

 

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