Indonesian President Widodo to visit Philippines next week

The Philippine Star
Indonesian President Widodo to visit Philippines next week
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) greets Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 10, 2023.
AFP / Willy Kurniawan / Pool

MANILA, Philippines —  Indonesian President Joko Widodo is set to visit the Philippines next week to meet with President Marcos in an engagement seen to reaffirm their commitment to boost the ties between Jakarta and Manila.

Widodo’s official visit will take place from Jan. 9 to 11, according to a Facebook post by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is pleased to welcome His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, for his upcoming official visit to the Philippines, scheduled on 9-11 January 2024,” a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) statement shared by PCO read.

The two leaders’ meeting on Jan. 10 is expected “to take stock of the progress in Philippines-Indonesia relations” following Marcos’ state visit to Jakarta from Sept. 4 to 6, 2022, the DFA said. The state visit was Marcos’ first foreign trip as president.

“The two leaders are also expected to reaffirm their commitment to deepening and expanding Philippines-Indonesia ties, especially as the two countries will celebrate their 75th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations in November 2024,” the DFA said.

The DFA noted that the Philippines and Indonesia are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), describing them as “close neighbors and partners that have enjoyed longstanding and robust cooperation in a wide range of areas in the political, economic, and people-to-people relations.”

During his meeting with Widodo at the Bogor Presidential Palace two years ago, Marcos said partnerships are needed to attain economic recovery and to maintain peace and stability in the region. He added that the Philippines views Indonesia not only as a neighbor and a friend, but as “kin.”

The two leaders also agreed to create task forces to meet their common goals and discussed the important role of ASEAN.

“And we agreed that ASEAN is going to be the lead agent in the changes that we would like to see in continuing to bring peace to our countries. And again the assistance that we have received from Indonesia has been a very important part of that,” Marcos said during the meeting.

Widodo, for his part, said Indonesia wishes to ensure that ASEAN “remains an engine of peace, stability, peace and prosperity in the region.”

They also agreed to strengthen trade relations and cooperation in infrastructure and strategic industries.

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