Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Indonesian, Burmese officials hold wide-ranging talks

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:16 Mizzima News

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Netalegawa ended discussions with top Burmese officials and visited with Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence in Rangoon on Wednesday.

After the 45-minute meeting, Netalegawa held a press conference at the Sedona Hotel for the foreign and domestic media.

“I told Aung San Suu Kyi how Asean could help in advancing democratic change in Burma and briefed her about current developments in Asean,” he said. “She reciprocated by telling me about the current developments in Burma and the democratization process in the country.”

National League for Democracy General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa following a meeting in her home in Rangoon on Wednesday, December 28, 2011. Photo: Mizzima

It was his second meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, following a visit in late October.

The Indonesian delegation and Burmese officials held extensive talks during the Second Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation meeting.

Netalegawa said: “Indonesia will uphold its stance and its commitment to the democratization process, including the continuing, ongoing peace talks with ethnic armed groups, releasing political prisoners and an all-inclusive free and fair by-elections.”

The Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that the joint meeting discussed advancing good governance, democracy and human rights. In addition, Indonesia volunteered to offer advice from the Election Commission of Indonesia, the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia and the Indonesian Institute of Science to establish contact and cooperation with their counterparts in Burma.

In the area of economic cooperation, the talks involved promoting direct trade and eliminating barriers preventing expansion of trade with the intent to achieve a target of 500 million U.S. dollars in trade value by 2015. Capacity building programs in the fields of forestry, agriculture, fishery, transport and banking were also discussed.

In social and cultural cooperation, the meeting touched on a commitment to establish cooperation in the fields of information and technology, and to strengthen cultural and tourism cooperation by promoting religious tourism and sister-pagoda cooperation.

The first Burma-Indonesia joint bilateral meeting was held in Jakarta in February 2007. Netalegawa is on his third visit to Burma.

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