JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday expressed hope to visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US will continue contributing to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Widodo reiterated that Palestine is a priority in Indonesia’s foreign policy, and that “the two-state solution is the only way forward.”
Marsudi and Pompeo met for about 30 minutes at the Foreign Ministry, and the latter left without giving a press statement.
Marsudi said she also raised the issue of Palestine with Pompeo as “the Indonesian government and people pay immense attention and support to the Palestinian people’s struggle.”
Pompeo “didn’t reject the two-state solution,” she told Arab News. “He said it would take some time to be able to develop a peace plan.”
During his two-day visit, Pompeo also discussed plans to commemorate 70 years of US-Indonesian diplomatic relations next year.
Marsudi said she proposed that the theme for the commemoration be “to celebrate our diversity” and “prosper together as strategic partners.”
The “trade war between the US and China” will “affect all countries, including Indonesia,” she added.
Marsudi said Widodo asked Pompeo to keep Indonesia on the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) list, which eliminates duties on products imported from designated countries and territories.
In April, the US said it was reviewing the eligibility of Indonesia, India and Kazakhstan due to concerns about their compliance with the GSP, including Indonesia’s implementation of barriers to trade and investment that adversely impact American commerce.
Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita went to the US last month to discuss the issue with Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Keeping Indonesia in the GSP would be a win-win situation for both countries, Lukita said.
Indonesian commodities included in the GSP are rubber, car tires, gold, alumina, vehicle wiring, fatty acids, metal jewelry, loudspeakers, batteries, keyboards and music instruments.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo thanked Marsudi for Indonesia’s leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and congratulated the country on its upcoming term in the UN Security Council.
Pompeo and Marsudi “also discussed bilateral cooperation and multilateral engagement on regional security challenges, including the DPRK (North Korea) and counterterrorism, as well as other foreign policy issues of mutual interest,” Nauert said.
Pompeo said he had a “productive” meeting with Marsudi, tweeting: “We reaffirmed our close bilateral relationship and strong US-Indonesia strategic partnership, as we look ahead to marking 70 years of diplomatic ties.”