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Indonesia’s Widodo arrives today | Philstar.com


Helen Flores, Pia Lee-Brago – The Philippine Star

January 9, 2024 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Indonesian President Joko Widodo is set to arrive in the country tonight for a three-day official visit.

He is scheduled to meet with President Marcos at Malacañang tomorrow.

In their meeting, the two leaders are expected “to take stock of the progress in Philippines-Indonesia relations” following Marcos’ state visit to Jakarta from Sept. 4 to 6, 2022, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

Marcos’ state visit to Indonesia in 2022 was his 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 Philippines and Indonesia are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The DFA described the two nations as “close neighbors and partners that have enjoyed longstanding and robust cooperation in a wide range of areas in political, economic and people-to-people relations.”

Marcos also attended the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia in May and the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta in September last year.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo is set to meet today with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi to exchange views on key regional and international issues.

At a press briefing, DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said the two officials were to meet for the convening of the Ministerial Meeting of the 7th Philippines-Indonesia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

The JCBC is the primary dialogue mechanism between the Philippines and Indonesia for reviewing accomplishments on mutual collaboration initiatives, as well as for exchanging views on issues of mutual interest and enhancing cooperation.

After Widodo’s visit, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is set to arrive in Manila also for an official visit from Jan. 11 to 12. Baerbock’s visit is upon Manalo’s invitation.

“The visit to the Philippines is part of the foreign minister’s official travel to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Foreign Minister Baerbock’s visit marks the first visit by a German Federal Foreign Minister to the Philippines in over a decade,” Daza said.

According to Daza, Baerbock will visit the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) headquarters and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The visit will take place as the Philippines and Germany celebrate this year the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

“What is clear is the commonality between the Philippines and Germany when it comes to the importance of rules-based order,” Daza said.

“The German foreign minister will be visiting our PCG. It underscores the importance of the Philippines being an archipelagic country. Hopefully the visit will result not only in understanding of the situation in the South China Sea but as well trainings that can be offered to the Coast Guard by Germany,” she added.

The DFA said there are an estimated 32,000 Filipinos in Germany.

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