Natasha Christy Wahyuni & Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has vowed to bolster the longstanding bilateral ties with Indonesia in a phone call with Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, according to the US state department spokesperson Ned Price.
"Secretary Blinken affirmed the growing significance of the US-Indonesia Strategic Partnership to the prosperity and security of both nations, and pledged to further strengthen the broad range of our bilateral ties," Price wrote in an official statement published by the US Embassy to Indonesia on Wednesday.
The two countries are also eyeing to strengthen bilateral trade and investment.
"Secretary Blinken agreed on the key role of Asean centrality in the Indo-Pacific, and underscored the importance of protecting and preserving a free and open South China Sea," Price said.
On regional and global issues, both leaders shared their concerns over the ongoing military coup in Asean member state, Myanmar. Blinken also thanked Retno for her efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.
"[He] applauded her leadership as a positive role model for women and girls, and noted that as the world's largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has unique insights that it can offer Afghans in their pursuit of a political settlement," Price said.
Trade Ministry statistics shows that the total trade between the US and Indonesia amounted to Rp 27.2 billion (around $1.93 million) in January-December 2020.
In 2010, the two countries initiated a comprehensive partnership on education and trade among others.
Both countries took the partnership to greater heights when former US President Barack Obama met with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the White House on Oct. 2015. The two presidents commited to forge a strategic partnership on issues of regional and global significance.
On Tuesday, Minister Retno said she would communicate with several of her counterparts. She would also visit Asean's chair Brunei Darussalam to bring attention to Myanmar's coup. She also plans to visit other Asean countries.
The diplomat also plans to communicate with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.