Indonesia-U.S. Talk on COVID-19, Myanmar Issues

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her U.S. counterpart Minister Antony Blinken met at the Strategic Dialogue event held in Washington DC on Tuesday, local time, August 3. During the meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed various important issues in addition to emphasizing the commitment of the two countries to maintain bilateral relations.

    One of the strategic issues being discussed was the COVID-19 pandemic. Retno explores long-term cooperation for the development of mRNA vaccines in Indonesia, hoping to reduce the gap in access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

    To date, U.S' assistance for Indonesia to fight COVID-19 is the donation of vaccines, ventilators, medical equipment, and aid funds.

    "Long-term cooperation efforts are important in reducing the gap of global access to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines as well as anticipating the potential for a pandemic to occur in the future," said Retno.

    In addition to the COVID-19 issue, the two ministers also touched on the issue of Myanmar following the ongoing crisis due to the coup by General Min Aung Hlaing on February 1. Previously, the U.S. government asked ASEAN to respond more firmly to the Myanmar crisis and ensure that the five-point consensus resolution of the crisis is implemented.

    Both ministers came towards the same understanding of the developing situation in Myanmar. They believe democracy should be restored immediately in the country. Previously, Min Aung Hlaing had stated that new elections would be held in 2023.

    "Democracy is important to be re-established in Myanmar and the safety and welfare of the Myanmar people is important to continue to be a priority," said Retno.

    Istman Musaharun Pramadiba | Maudey K. Setyakusuma (Intern)