Department of International Relations of FISIP UI held a Public Lecture by the Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno P. L. Marsudi, titled “Indonesian Diplomacy: New Challenges”.
In her public lecture, the Foreign Minister told that between December and February she has visited various countries with the aim of putting forward foreign policy interests of Indonesia. Among the visits was one to Rakhine State in Myanmar, to take care of the Rohingya issue. “Indonesia chose to take constructive steps to help Myanmar in establishing peace, stability and development in Rakhine State”. The Foreign Minister also hoped that Indonesia is committed to continue to assist Myanmar in the medium and long terms, particularly in the areas of education, health, agriculture, entrepreneurship, and democracy and governance.
The Foreign Minister also stated that she met Grand Imam of al-Azhar in Egypt. The meeting discussed education and the peaceful spread of Islam. Egypt is one of Indonesia’s most important partners in Africa. Egypt has a number of major export commodities to Indonesia, namely crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals, and agricultural products (fruits). Meanwhile, Egypt’s main import commodities from Indonesia are machinery and equipment, food, chemicals, wood products, and fuel. After visiting Egypt, she went to Cape Town, South Africa. This visit focused on economic diplomacy. There were various opportunities for economic cooperation between Indonesia and African countries. The Foreign Minister also told South African businesspersons on the economic reform being taken by the Government of Indonesia. Foreign Minister Retno also stated that she has asked Malaysia to open consular access for the Indonesian citizen arrested over the murder of Kim Jong-nam, namely Siti Aisyah. According to her, consular access must be given as soon as possible in accordance with the Vienna Conventions. In her closing statement, Minister Retno mentioned the four foreign policy priorities of Indonesia namely: maintaining sovereignty of the Unitary State of Indonesia, protection of Indonesian citizens abroad, economic diplomacy, and promoting the role of Indonesia in the region and the international community. (PR-FISIP UI)