TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in various fields between the two countries on Tuesday.
Indonesia was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Energy Minister Sudirman Said at the signing.
"We welcomed the signing of this memorandum of understanding," President Jokowi said after the ceremony at the Papua New Guinea Parliament Building in Port Moresby.
He added that the agreements were related to establishing cooperation to overcome cross-border crimes, including those related to narcotics and terrorism, among others.
Other agreements signed were related to capacity building of human resources to explore the oil and energy sectors.
In the field of economy, President Jokowi noted that he and Prime Minister O'Neill had agreed to increase cooperation in various areas, boost trade outside border markets, promote investment and cooperation in infrastructure development, and encourage the involvement of private businesses in the fields of energy, telecommunications and fisheries.
"We also agreed to improve connectivity," he affirmed at a press conference, flanked by O'Neill.
With regard to improving connectivity, he revealed that both nations had agreed to introduce flights for the Moresby-Denpasar-Jakarta and Port Moresby-Singapore-Jakarta routes.
"We welcome the agreement made by Garuda Indonesia to conduct go share with Air Niugini," he remarked.
The head of state also pointed out that he considered Papua New Guinea a close neighbor and friend and that the two countries could carry out more intensive cooperation.
"O'Neill and I wish to use the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to intensify and deepen the relations," he emphasized.
President Joko Widodo arrived at Papua New Guinea's Jacksons International Airport at around 1 p.m. on Monday, May 11, for a state visit and left for Indonesia on Tuesday.
Earlier, he had toured several eastern regions of the country, including Papua and West Papua, before heading to Papua New Guinea.
ANTARA | JOKO SUSILO