The Jakarta Post
US: Indonesia has agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Tuvalu to boost cooperation with the tiny South Pacific nation.
“This is part of our plan to open diplomatic ties with 21 sovereign states. The opening of diplomatic relations with Tuvalu is important to boost our presence in the Pacific for national, economic and trade interests. It is also for the stability in eastern Indonesia,” Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in New York on Monday.
Marty brushed aside criticism that the move was done to stymie support for Papuan independence. “Despite its size and population, Tuvalu is a sovereign state. We can share experiences,” he said.
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is an archipelago comprising four reef islands and five atolls. Its land area totals 26 square kilometers, as opposed to the 740 square kilometers of Jakarta.