Albanese to meet with Indonesian president

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he wants to strengthen relations not just with Indonesia but across the region, as he arrived in Jakarta ahead of key talks.

Mr Albanese will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday to discuss trade, climate and regional issues.

Arriving in Jakarta on Sunday night, the prime minister said increasing links with Indonesia was crucial amid growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific.


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“We want to strengthen the relationship with Indonesia, but also with southeast Asia, we see that ASEAN is central to the region,” he told reporters upon arriving in the Indonesian capital.

“In recent times, I think there shows there’s a need for us to strengthen that relationship.”

The prime minister is travelling with a large Australian delegation including Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Trade Minister Don Farrell, Industry Minister Ed Husic and Darwin-based MP Luke Gosling.

He will also be joined by 11 prominent Australian business leaders including Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn, Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn and Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott.

Mr Albanese will begin his first full day in Indonesia with a business breakfast, before one-on-one talks with President Widodo.

The meetings come as China tries to convince Pacific island nations to join a regional security partnership.

The prime minister will also meet with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, before taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony and then a business dinner.

The final day of the prime minister’s visit to Indonesia will see him fly to Makassar in the country’s east on Tuesday.

Mr Albanese said it was critical that relations with Indonesia extended to the whole of the country, and not just Jakarta and Bali.

The prime minister said the relationship between the two countries was significant.

“This is more than symbolic, this is a friendship which is deep,” he said.

“Australia supported Indonesian independence in 1945, my party has had a particularly strong relationship with Indonesia.”

Mr Albanese’s visit continues a long-standing diplomatic tradition for new prime ministers, making Indonesia one of their first overseas visits after being sworn in.

He will visit the country later in the year for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

The prime minister said it was important his first bilateral overseas visit since becoming prime minister be to Indonesia.

© AAP 2022