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Jakarta Post

RI to boost bilateral ties with Micronesia, offers N219 aircraft

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java   /   Wed, July 18, 2018   /   05:46 pm
RI to boost bilateral ties with Micronesia, offers N219 aircraft President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo talks with Federal States of Micronesia President Peter M. Christian at the Bogor Palace on July 18. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Indonesia is committed to boosting bilateral ties with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) through the improvement of  mutual partnership in various sectors, with Jakarta also offering state-produced N219 aircraft to Palikir.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo received FSM President Peter M. Christian at the Bogor Palace on Wednesday, which marked Christian's first visit to Indonesia since being inaugurated in 2015.

The two leaders held a tete-a-tete meeting followed by bilateral talks, during which they discussed ways to improve cooperation, both between the two countries and with the Pacific Island Forum, of which FSM is a member.

Speaking in a joint statement, Jokowi said Indonesia and FSM, both of which were sovereign island nations, agreed to improve cooperation in the maritime sector and inter-island connectivity.

"Indonesia has also offered N219 aircraft produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia [PTDI] to be used as inter-island transportation," Jokowi said on Wednesday.

Twin-turboprop N219 Nurtanio aircraft are produced by state aircraft manufacturer PTDI. The 19-seat N219, which is designed to bridge remote areas, carried out its maiden flight test on Aug. 17 last year and PTDI expected the plane to get certified this year.

The FSM president was scheduled to visit PTDI's headquarters in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday, Jokowi said.

Moreover, in a bid to improve business interaction between the two countries, Jokowi also invited FSM's business players to the 2018 Indonesian Trade Expo, which will be held in October. 

Indonesia also offered scholarships to FSM students to improve people-to-people relations, he said.

"To further improve relations, Indonesia plans to appoint an honorary consul in the Federated States of Micronesia," Jokowi added.

Indonesia's UNSC seat

FSM is hopeful that Indonesia will use its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to represent the world's smaller countries and promote inclusiveness. 

President Christian congratulated Indonesia on winning the council’s non-permanent member seat for the 2019-2020 period, adding that FSM had supported Indonesia. 

Indonesia will soon take its rightful seat as a UNSC member for a two-year term, starting on Jan. 1. The FSM government will be looking forward to that, Christian said. 

"Smaller countries of the world need to make themselves relevant to what ails this earth; climate change, human trafficking, domestic violence, displacement of population by wars," Christian said.

"It is my hope that Mr. President [Jokowi], that as my representative in that council, you will apply the responsibilities that man take on a broader and more inclusive level for all nations and for all people," he added.

Christian also conveyed his appreciation for Indonesia's offer to assist FSM, a country in the Western Pacific Ocean, with technical and economic exchange to help it face obstacles in developing the country, including limited resources, limited land and limited number of people. (evi)