May 29, 2023

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Strong Tehran-Jakarta ties will benefit Islamic world, Raisi says

TEHRAN- Strengthening ties between Iran and Indonesia would benefit the Islamic world, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says.

Raisi made the comments in a meeting with Indonesia’s People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Bambang Soesatyo on Tuesday in the country’s capital Jakarta.

Indonesia is a significant country with an excellent position in Southeast Asia, Raisi highlighted, adding that “the expansion of relations between the two countries is in the interest of the Islamic world and Muslims.”

The Iranian president remarked, “With these changes, new powers will be formed in the world, which is in the interest of developing countries.”

“The progress of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the fields of science and technology has placed Iran among the countries with advanced sciences such as space and nuclear sciences,” the president stated, his official website reported.

Raisi went on to say that the world order has changed and that the era of unilateralism is over.

He also said, “We believe the oppressed people of Palestine, Yemen and Myanmar are very close to having their rights fulfilled.” 

Alluding to the considerable efforts the West has made to threaten and impose sanctions on Iran, the president pointed out, “The great nation of Iran, by relying on Islam and believing in independence, not only declined to surrender to such pressures, but also created an opportunity out of such threats.”

Soesatyo, for his part, characterized the ties between the two nations as historical and believed that the Islamic world will gain from the growth and intensification of ties between Tehran and Jakarta.

Additionally, he stressed the oppressed Palestinian people’s right to decide their own future and voiced worry over the rise in violence against them.

‘Islamic world should benefit from Iran-Indonesia ties’

In a separate meeting, Indonesian People’s Representative Council speaker Puan Maharani and the Iranian president held talks about ways to strengthen ties between the two Muslim nations.

“Despite threats and brutal sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made great progress and has achieved capabilities that have created good capacities for development of relations between the two countries,” Raisi stressed. 

The Iranian president expressed appreciation for Indonesia’s position in support the oppressed peoples of Afghanistan and Palestine, saying, “The development of relations is in line with the interests of the two countries, the people of the region, and Muslims.”

“There are no obstacles in the way of developing relations between the two countries,” Raisi said, pointing to the documents and agreements reached with Indonesian authorities in the domains of energy, medicine, and science and technology.

For her part, Maharani voiced the Indonesian Representative Council’s support for the agreements made during Raisi’s visit and said, “I am confident that the relations between the two countries will develop not only in the political field, but also in the fields of economy and medicine, especially in pharmaceutical products.”

ASEAN announces plans to deepen relations with Iran

During a meeting with Raisi on Wednesday, the secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Kao Kim Hourn underscored on the need of ASEAN to speed up its collaboration with Iran. 

Iran’s position and importance in the region were underlined by the ASEAN secretary general, who also provided an update on the association’s initiatives to increase interactions with Iran.

The Iranian president, for his part, stated that regional organizations play an important role in countries’ economic growth.

Raisi emphasized the need to pursuing the goals in this respect, citing Iran’s capabilities and aspirations for better connections with ASEAN and its member states.

ASEAN is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia. The union has an estimated total population of about 668 million, containing approximately 8.5% of the world population.

In an op-ed published in Jakarta Post on May 22, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, “Tehran commends the performance of ASEAN and emphasizes its willingness to develop relations with other member states of the regional bloc within the framework of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation signed between the two sides in 2017.”

“We consider Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN an optimal opportunity for developing relations with the other member states of this progressive grouping. We also welcome the possibility of regional connections between ASEAN and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in West Asia,” he added.

Raisi made a formal two-day visit to Indonesia on Tuesday and Wednesday with the goal of improving political and economic ties between the Islamic Republic and the Southeast Asian nation.

11 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed by the two parties to advance their political and economic relations.

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