I joined the Indonesian foreign service in 1986. Since the beginning of my career, I’ve heard much about a special relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands. But I never asked how special it was beyond the historical linkage.
During my assignment here in the Netherlands from 1997 to 2001, I was briefed by my superior that we had a special relationship with the Netherlands. I neither questioned how special it was nor what the word “special” really meant.
Today, I stand before you as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. I bring along the same mantra that “we have a special relationship with the Netherlands”. I have now the full mandate from my President and the Government of Indonesia to demonstrate to our two peoples that the relationship shall remain special today and in the future.
It is special if we feel...