EghtesadOnline: President Joko Widodo of Indonesia described Iran’s landmark nuclear deal plays a significant role in improving Iran’s relations with other countries including Indonesia.
Commenting on the historic nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the world six major powers and led to lifting of unjust economic sanctions against Tehran, President Widodo said the JCPOA is a “momentum” which has “significant implications on improving relationship especially economic relationship and is a great time for readiness of both countries' business communities to boost economic cooperation.”
He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with IRNA prior to his upcoming visit to Iran which is to take place on December 14.
The visit aims at increasing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of oil and gas and Iran's investment in Indonesia refinery sector.
The full text of his interview with the Iran’s official News Agency follows:
Mr. President thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to have your point of view as you are about to fly to Iran. Besides, historical relationship and having much in common between Iran and Indonesia, we also have the same challenge to cope with natural disasters which on recently occurred in Aceh. We offer our deep condolences to the victims in the earthquake, and extended our sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and those injured.
1 – How do you evaluate historical relationship between Iran and Indonesia and what are your plans to expand cultural, economic and political cooperation between two countries?
A: Indonesia and Iran have enjoyed longstanding and good relationship based on mutual understanding and beneficial partnership. Both countries have majority Muslim population and share common views on Islam and bilateral relationship between two countries has always been increasing since the establishment of diplomatic relationship in 1950. High frequency of exchange of visit among high level officials and support in various international organizations
2 – Due to imposed western sanctions, trade relationship and economic cooperation between Iran and Indonesia were decreased in the past years. Since these sanctions have been lifted, how do you see the relationship and cooperation between Iran and Indonesia in the future?
A: We want more economic and trade ties. The removal of sanctions has significant implications on improving relationship especially economic relationship and is a great time for readiness of both countries' business communities to boost economic cooperation, after the removal of the sanctions. This momentum will further strengthen bilateral cooperation particularly on trade and energy sectors.
3- Iran and Indonesia have numerous opportunities to cooperate; your trip to Iran is a great chance to discover Iran’s various potential in different areas such as engineering, oil and gas, energy and trade among others. How your government support Iranian companies to be benefited from existing opportunities in Indonesia?
A: The government is committed through economic reform policies to enhance potential business in Indonesia and Indonesia is looking for direct investment in various sectors pursuant to the prevailing national regulations. I would like to invite Iranian business to invest in Indonesia and our relevant chances would be more and we try to facilitate them to make business in Indonesia like in infrastructure, power plant and also in oil and gas business we can work together.
4 – Joint investment and banking interactions are among main facilitator to boost relationships between two countries. Sanctions made some barriers to such facilitators, has any measure done to remove such barriers?
A: I encourage banking sector to find immediate solution to remove those barriers. We want to improve the investment climate.
5- Beside to G to G relationship, people to people interaction and cooperation play an important role in boosting the relationship between two countries. Despite a long-term historical relationship and good mutual understanding between Iranians and Indonesians, it seems that people too people relationship has been reduced in the past few years, to enhance these relationship what need to be done? Can visa revocation be an effective measure to this end?
A: We need to enhance the interaction among our people help to promote mutual understanding within Iran and Indonesia particularly through cooperation and power sectors. We want to increase tourism. We are working on that. Regarding visa revocation I will ask my minister.
6- Some Islamic countries in different regions face with terrorism and extremism activities. Iran and Indonesia both believe in moderation. How these tow country can join together to stop such trouble fuelling with outsiders interventions?
A: You know that Indonesia as the largest world Muslim country and Indonesia opposes any form extremism, violent and we take a comprehensive approach in fighting extremism and terrorism. We have
hard power with law enforcement and legislation and also support with religious and cultural approaches. My government continues to cooperate with Islamic organizations such as Nahdlatul Ulama as a big Islamic organization and also Muhammadiyah also the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia. And Indonesia will always cooperate with all countries to fight terrorism through the exchange of information, intelligence exchange and cooperation. We also play an active role in international forum such as UN Global counter-terrorism strategy, and Global counter-terrorism forum.
7 – Regional interaction is an important way of improving cooperation, as a member of The Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), how Iran can assist to enhance the mutual cooperation between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ECO?
A: Iran can play significant role in intensifying dialogue between ECO and ASEAN in many area and at many level and would like to encourage both regional organization to reintegrate plan of action for concrete operation especially in economic front.
8 – Most of political and religious leaders of Indonesia focus on Islam of Indonesia or Islam Nusantara, which has grown in the countries from many years ago, how do you think Islam Nusantara can be useful to solve current problems of Islamic world? Please elaborate it?
A: Islam is a religion of peace. We usually say Islam is 'رحمه للعالمین' religion that means Islam is the religion of blessing for all mankind. Islam does not only belong to Indonesia. Islam belongs to the World. Indonesia has worked closely to conquer any form of extremism and to overcome misperception and misunderstanding of Islam to increase more people to people contact and to promote mutual understanding and it is very important.
9- Indonesia has always supported peace and provided big number of peacekeeper forces and mediates some regional and international issues. The country also calls for changing in UN Security Council structure, so what kind of practical measures have been done to fulfill these desires?
A: As mandated by our 1945 constitution and as an important element of our foreign policy we have launched a vision of 4,000 peacekeepers by 2019 through a road map to achieve this vision we are currently deploying more than 2,700 peacekeepers in 9 different UN peacekeeping nations around the globe. And sending these peacekeepers is a part of our commitment to maintain international peace and security and it would serve as solidarity of our candidature as a non-permanent member for UN Security Council for 2019 until 2020.
10 - On the eve of your visit to Iran, what is your message to Iranian people who love eternal peace and support friendly relationship with all countries around the world?
Indonesian and Iranian people share common values who love peace, who love friendly relationship and act upon that concrete operation for the prosperity of these people and contribute for peace of the region and world as a whole.