Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim meets Jokowi, talks strengthening bilateral ties
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has expressed hopes for Indonesia and Malaysia to further strengthen bilateral relations during his cordial meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at Bogor Palace on Thursday.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who accompanied Jokowi during the occasion, said Anwar's visit was a form of silaturahmi (friendly gathering) with the President after he became president of Malaysia's People's Justice Party (PKR) on Aug. 5.
In the closed-door meeting, during which they discussed various issues, Retno said that Anwar also conveyed regards from Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who expressed to Anwar his positive impression of the result of Mahathir's recent visit to Indonesia.
"Tun [Mahathir] also expressed [to Anwar] the commitment to strengthen relations with Indonesia," Retno told journalists on Thursday. "Pak Anwar Ibrahim even said [to Jokowi] that now was the right time for Indonesia and Malaysia to improve ties."
Jokowi once again raised the issue of the protection of Indonesian nationals living in Malaysia as well as the importance of the neighboring countries to fight together against the European Union's plan to restrict exports of crude palm oil.
Anwar was released from prison in May after Mahathir won a shock election over former prime minister Najib Razak.
When asked whether or not Anwar visited Jokowi on the latter's invitation, Retno said she had to check the details, however, she added that Anwar visited Indonesia from time to time and so his meeting with the President was usual.
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