Press statement by Minister Bruins Slot in Jakarta, Indonesia, 31 October 2023

Press statement by Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs, following the bilateral meeting with Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 31 October 2023.

The spoken word applies.

Good morning everyone, 

Minister Marsudi, thank you for your warm welcome. 

It’s truly been a great start to a two-day visit.

I have been Minister of Foreign Affairs for almost two months now, and this is already the third time we are meeting in person. 

And, that, of course, is equally a great start.

Indonesia was one of the first countries I chose for a bilateral visit.

This reflects the special and close relationship that our two countries have.

And at the same time, it also shows that we have a lot to discuss.

As we did today. 

We discussed our shared concerns regarding the developments in the Middle East, Ukraine and Myanmar for example. 

But also our shared outlook on how to face global challenges...

Or I should say: our challenges.

And our future.

Our pursuit of a stable and peaceful world based on international law.

And that, too, is a good and very solid starting point. 

Because I strongly believe that in the year 2023, the most effective way forward is through partnerships based on shared interests and a common outlook on the future.

Today we spoke about how we can further strengthen and deepen our relationship. 

For example by giving new impetus to the agreements in the 2013 Joint Declaration on a Comprehensive Partnership.

We spoke about recent and very worrying developments in Israel and Gaza, where events are developing rapidly, with innocent victims on both the Israeli and the Palestinian side.

These developments demand a concerted diplomatic response.

We have grave concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the lack of immediate humanitarian access. 

This is why we must call for humanitarian pauses and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor. 

The Netherlands is using all means available to facilitate the entry of food, water, fuel and medicines to Gaza.

Israel has the right to defend itself against the terror of Hamas, but must act in accordance with international humanitarian law. Civilian casualties and regional escalation must be prevented.

This requires restraint from Israel when it comes to the use of force.

Even though any peace negotiations are a long way off, the two-state solution is the only realistic path to peace and security for the Israelis and Palestinians.

This is what I also stressed last week in New York.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we also spoke about shared challenges and goals.

Climate change, for example, is seriously impacting both our countries.

It's great that our countries jointly hosted a Renewable Energy and Climate Summit in Jakarta in mid-October.

To share lessons learned, and to boost investments and trade in the energy transition. 

We look forward to the follow-up!

In our efforts to work towards a sustainable future, I am pleased to announce that the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is proposing 105 million euros in investment grants as part of a 300 million euro cooperation programme through our partnership with Invest International.

This programme may also include Dutch loans and will support sustainable and inclusive public initiatives in sectors where Dutch expertise can be relevant.

For example, in the areas of climate and energy, agriculture and food, healthcare, water and infrastructure.

What’s more, for a green, sustainable future, we must tackle deforestation together.

I want to congratulate Indonesia on its huge efforts to reduce deforestation over the last few years.

The Netherlands is one of the largest importers of sustainable palm oil in the EU.

We are committed to further working together with Indonesia to make the palm oil sector more sustainable.

Today, we also discussed promoting religious tolerance, something to which both our countries are strongly committed.

For that reason, we will continue to facilitate a yearly interfaith dialogue.

We also spoke about how we can work together even closer on cyber issues.

Today we signed an MoU on cyber to further deepen our ties in this area.

It’s a vital, cross-cutting topic.

I’m confident our cooperation will benefit our security and economic interests.

And we stand ready to deepen our exchanges with the Indonesian authorities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Indonesia and the Netherlands are helping each other to reach shared goals.

I am truly proud that our countries are such great partners. Friends.

I firmly believe that our partnership will serve as a solid starting point on the road towards the greener, safer and better future we all want.

I am also convinced that working towards that future together will make our friendship even stronger.

And that’s a double win, indeed.

Thank you.