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US President Biden meets Indonesia’s Jokowi, finalises new partnership

Their bilateral meeting comes ahead of a two-day G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali.


US President Biden meets Indonesia’s Jokowi, finalises new partnership

US President Joe Biden meets his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo in Bali on Nov 14, 2022. (Photo: Presidential Secretariat Press Bureau/Laily Rachev)

NUSA DUA, Bali: Indonesian President Joko Widodo and United States President Joe Biden on Monday (Nov 14) met in Bali and underscored the importance of their countries' strategic ties by finalising a new partnership.

Ahead of a two-day Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit which kicks off on the Indonesian resort island on Tuesday, Mr Widodo said he appreciated his US counterpart’s support and attendance. 

“I hope that the G20 Summit can present concrete cooperation and can help the recovery of the global economy,” said Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is popularly known.

Calling Indonesia a vibrant and critical partner, Mr Biden said the two countries must work together to pursue a better future. He also announced details of a new partnership to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation - a foreign aid agency established by the US - nearly US$700 million will be invested in developing high-quality transportation and infrastructure in Indonesia, said Mr Biden.

"Tomorrow, we’ll unveil a transformative new partnership to support Indonesia’s clean energy transition."

The two leaders also discussed Indonesia’s upcoming 2023 chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the US White House in a statement. 

Mr Biden also reiterated the US' commitment to ASEAN centrality and its support for the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific, the statement added. 

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their bilateral meeting Nov. 14, 2022, ahead of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo: Reuters/Achmad Ibrahim)

The Indonesia-US talks come ahead of a much-anticipated bilateral meeting between Mr Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later on Monday.

It will be their first face-to-face meeting since Mr Biden took office almost two years ago, and at a time when relations between the superpowers are at their lowest in decades. 

Mr Biden said last week he would discuss with Mr Xi US concerns over Taiwan, Russia's war in Ukraine and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The war in Ukraine and tensions between countries have overshadowed Indonesia’s G20 presidency, resulting in walkouts during several meetings.  

In previous G20 ministerial meetings, countries have failed to agree on a final communique which would be key to driving cooperation.  

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan over the weekend downplayed the impact of not having a communique this time round.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t think the G20 has ever been this complex amid the global situation. 

“So if we, in the end, do not produce a communique, that’s okay,” said Mr Pandjaitan. 

Source: CNA/ks(jo)


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