Jakarta – Australian Minister for Defense Marise Payne met his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu in Sydney on Friday for the annual Indonesia-Australia Defense Ministers meeting.
Minister Payne affirmed that Australia and Indonesia have enjoyed a long-standing and productive bilateral defense relationship that supports mutual interests in ensuring security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, according to a statement of the Australian Department of Defense published on its website, Saturday.
The ministers discussed the regional security dynamics and the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security frameworks to build regional trust, transparency, and cooperation. The ministers also reinforced their support for the recently signed Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation.
Minister Payne noted that Australia and Indonesia were co-chairs of the next cycle of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus Experts Working Group on peacekeeping operations.
"This represents a great opportunity to strengthen regional peacekeeping efforts and build upon the existing bilateral peacekeeping cooperation," he said.
During the bilateral meeting, the ministers discussed strengthening cooperation in the fields of defense, science, and technology.
"Cooperation in science and technology has great potential to build the depth and resilience of our bilateral relationship, and we agreed to greater cooperation and engagement," Minister Payne remarked.
The Australian Department of Defense is looking forward to welcoming Indonesias Head of Defense Ministry Research and Development Agency Dr Anne Kusmayati in Australia in 2017.
Minister Payne invited Minister Ryacudu to Darwin in the near future to view the US Force Posture Initiatives. "The Force Posture Initiatives provide new opportunities for regional defense engagement, including with Indonesia, in order to build mutual trust and contribute to regional peace and security," she added.(*)