Indonesia, Jordan agree to enhance counterterrorism cooperation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Jordan are moderate, tolerant, and democratic Muslim-majority countries where people of different ethnicities and religions co-exist peacefully and in harmony.

Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Jordan had been initiated in 1950. The Indonesian Embassy in Amman, Jordan, was opened in 1985, while Jordan had established its embassy in Jakarta in November 1986.

The two governments have been active in promoting world peace and inter-faith dialog as well as in supporting Palestine in its struggle to gain independence.

Leaders and high-ranking officials of both nations have often exchanged visits to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

In early October this year, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi had visited Jordan to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The minister paid a courtesy call on Jordanian King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in Amman on Oct 4.

The discussions between King Abdullah II and Marsudi chiefly focused on the threats of terrorism and radicalism to world peace, including foreign terrorist fighters and regionalization of terrorism.

The King stated that Jordan is ready to establish cooperation with Indonesia for the exchange of information and intelligence, de-radicalization program, and capacity building of the law enforcement apparatus.

Marsudi expected a memorandum of understanding on counterterrorism and radicalization to soon be inked between both nations.

"Terrorism and radicalization are visible challenges and can only be overcome through effective cooperation at the bilateral, regional, or international levels," Marsudi said.

She delivered an invitation from the Indonesian president to the Jordanian king to attend and to be a keynote speaker at the Bali Democracy Forum to be held in Bali on December 7-8, 2017.

"Jordan has become an example of a country that strongly upholds tolerance, pluralism, and democracy in the region," Marsudi said.

King Abdullah II had visited Jakarta in February 2014 for two days, which was his second visit to Indonesia during the Yudhoyono administration. His first visit was in October 2005, after which Yudhoyono undertook a reciprocal visit to Jordan in May 2006.

During her work visit to Jordan, Minister Marsudi also held talks with her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

Several areas of cooperation discussed by the two ministers included counterterrorism efforts, the exchange of information and intelligence, prevention of funding for terrorism, handling of foreign terrorist fighters, deradicalization programs, and interfaith dialog, as well as capacity building.

"Increasing the capacity of security agencies against terrorism and radicalism is important, so I invite Jordanian law enforcement personnel to the Jakarta Center to forge cooperation in the field of law enforcement," Marsudi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

The two ministers agreed that the current challenge is the threat of regionalization of terrorist groups, with numerous foreign terrorist fighters returning from several countries in the Middle East.

In addition to cooperation in the field of counterterrorism, Indonesia sought to enhance its bilateral cooperation with Jordan in several sectors, such as in trade, strategic industry, and tourism.

The value of bilateral trade between Indonesia and Jordan had reached US$256 million in 2016, a small increase of US$25 thousand as compared to that recorded in 2015.

Meanwhile, the value of bilateral trade during the period between January and June 2017 had increased by 6.88 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Indonesia and Jordan enjoy a strategic geographical location that could enable them to serve as the gateways to markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Middle East, according to Marsudi.

Safadi believed that there is still significant potential to develop economic cooperation between the two countries.

"We should open up wider access to prime products of each country, such as palm oil, tires, electronic devices, potassium, phosphate, and salt," Marsudi said.

She also proposed to the Jordanian government a negotiation on the establishment of a Preferential Trade Agreement between the two countries to help reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Indonesia had invited Jordanian enterprises to several forums held in Indonesia this year, such as the Indonesia-Middle East Annual Gathering on Economy on Oct 8-10, Trade Expo of Indonesia in Jakarta on Oct 11-15, and Regional Forum in Padang, West Sumatra, on Oct 15-17.

Product diversification is essential in the cooperation between the two countries; hence, Marsudi has offered several products of Indonesias strategic industry, such as aircraft, ships, and firearms.

"Indonesia excels in the strategic industry of which the products can be used by Jordan," Marsudi said.

Jordanian enterprises are also expected to attend the largest defense expo in Indonesia -- the Indo Defense Expo -- to be held in November 2018.

In the field of tourism, a total of 4,806 Jordanian tourists had visited Indonesia in 2016, while 70 thousand Indonesian tourists had visited Jordan in the same year.

Source: ANTARA News

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