Antara, Jakarta – People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo encourages increased cooperation between Indonesia and Iran in various sectors, including trade, health and green energy.
"With a population of more than 85 million, Iran is a huge market for Indonesian products and serves as a gateway for the distribution of Indonesian products to countries in the Central Asian and Caucasus regions," he stated in a statement released on Friday.
He made the remarks in anticipation of the upcoming visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Indonesia on May 23, 2023, who is scheduled to meet President Joko Widodo and the MPR leadership.
Soesatyo noted that according to data, the total trade between Indonesia and Iran in the January-March 2023 period reached US$54.1 million, while in 2022, Indonesia recorded a trade value of US$257.2 million with the country.
He further said that people-to-people contact between Indonesia and Iran has been established since ancient times.
According to historical records, Persian merchants crossed the Silk Road to reach the Indonesian archipelago, he added.
"Indonesia and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1950. However, friendly relations between Indonesia and Iran have existed for the past 1,000 years between the Persian and ancient kingdoms in Indonesia," Soesatyo expounded.
As Indonesia and Iran are Muslim-majority countries, he also urged the two nations to present a moderate and tolerant face of Islam that respects the political, social, and cultural rights of its adherents.
"Indonesia and Iran are also consistent in their support for the Palestinian people in various international forums, aiming to help them achieve true independence," he remarked.