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Jakarta Post

Diplomacy in the time of coronavirus

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) engages in conversation with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.(Presidential Palace Press Bureau/Muchlis Jr)
Gary Quinlan
Jakarta   ●   Thu, April 15 2021

I arrived in Indonesia three years ago and am now concluding my term as Australian ambassador. I fly out of Jakarta today at the end of my three years. COVID-19 has been a terrible disruption in those three years, but it has made starkly clear how important it is that our two countries maintain a strong and resilient partnership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most disruptive event globally since World War II. The world after the pandemic will be more disorderly and less resilient. The world economy has suffered a very serious blow, poverty has increased and recovery will be a long road.

The pandemic revealed a lack of global leadership which has put a premium on greater cooperation between individual countries. That is best done between trusted partners.

Australia and Indonesia have that kind of partnership born of a long history together after 1945 ...

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