World

Afghanistan and Indonesia
to strengthen relationship

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met parliament members from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Jakarta on Wednesday. The group discussed ways to boost cooperation among the two countries.

Yudhoyono offered Indonesia’s assistance with training the Afghan police force and also offered more opportunities for Afghan youths to study in Indonesia.

The visiting Afghan parliament members were Fazel Haddi Muslimyar, Hafiz Andul Qayum, Ehsanullah Bayat and Rafeullah Haydari.

After the meeting, presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told reporters that Indonesia and Afghanistan had a close relationship.

“They hope Indonesia will take part in assisting the peace process in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014,” Faizasyah said.

According to Faizasyah, Afghanistan offered cooperation in various sectors, such as security, education, economy and culture. In the field of security for instance, Afghanistan offered send 50 police officers to attend training and education in Indonesia early next year.

“Indonesia owns a center for terrorism in Semarang. It will be useful for Afghanistan. The Foreign Ministry is now working to realize all plans between the two countries,” Faizasyah said.

He dismissed accusations that Indonesia would leave itself open to a country known for experiencing terrorism. “The visit is to learn democratization, so they come to learn,” he said.

Afghanistan is among 13 countries whose citizens are required to provide specific documents to enter Indonesia. Besides Afghanistan, the visa applications of citizens from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Nigeria, Israel, North Korea, Somalia and Liberia require special treatment due to security reasons.

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