Indonesia, Belgium promote tolerance, intl cooperation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Belgium has shared a vision with Indonesia on promoting tolerance values and international cooperation amid the emergence of extremist movements.

The two countries will jointly carry out their duties as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (UN SC) for the 2019-2020 period.

"Indonesia and Belgium have a different history, but we both learn from the past that conflict resolution and international cooperation are very important," Belgian Ambassador to Indonesia Stephane De Loecker said at the commemoration of the Kings Day at her residence here Thursday night.

On that occasion, Ambassador Loecker emphasized the importance of Belgium and Indonesia collaboration to promote religious freedom and tolerance, and play an active role in fighting all forms of extremism.

European countries including Belgium face a wave of narrow nationalism and populism that remind them of the Dark Age in Europe in the early 20th century.

"Therefore, together with the European Union member countries, we continue to maintain the concept of an open and tolerant society, like Indonesia in defending Pancasila," Ambassador Loecker said.

Pancasila which literally means the five pillars is the official and foundational philosophy of Indonesia.

In addition to having roles in the UNSC, Indonesia and Belgium will welcome the 70 years of diplomatic relations in 2019.

Towards the commemoration, the two countries have shown good cooperation, marked by the visit of Princess Astrid, King Philippes sister, along with the Belgian business delegation to Indonesia in 2016. Meanwhile, in 2017 Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla visited the Europalia Arts Festival in Belgium.

In the economic field, the governments of the two countries continue to encourage businesses to explore the potentials for cooperation.

This effort will continue to be enhanced, especially after the signing of the Indonesia and European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to bring more benefits to both countries.

Source: ANTARA News

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