RI, Fiji strengthen de­fense co­op­er­a­tion

The Jakarta Post - - NATIONAL -

JAKARTA: In­done­sia has bol­stered bi­lat­eral de­fense co­op­er­a­tions with Fiji af­ter the sign­ing of a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) on Fri­day by De­fense Min­is­ter Ryamizard Ry­acudu and his Fi­jian coun­ter­part Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

The two coun­tries have agreed to, among oth­ers, ex­change vis­its be­tween de­fense and armed forces agen­cies, hold bi­lat­eral di­a­logues, par­tic­i­pate in joint pro­grams for ca­pac­ity build­ing, ex­change mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence and en­gage in trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy, as well joint re­search and de­vel­op­ment to pro­mote the de­fense in­dus­try.

“I hope this agree­ment can in­crease and en­hance our de­fense ca­pac­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity [...] I per­son­ally en­cour­age the es­tab­lish­ment of our de­fense at­taché of­fice in Fiji,” Ryamizard said on Fri­day.

In­done­sia has al­ways re­garded Fiji as a coun­try pos­sess­ing a vi­tal role in the Pa­cific, Ryami­card added, while prais­ing Fiji’s con­sis­tent sup­port of In­done­sia’s sovereignty, par­tic­u­larly when the lat­ter faced in­ter­na­tional pres­sure to es­tab­lish in­de­pen­dence for Pa­pua and West Pa­pua prov­inces.

Mean­while, Kubuabola said the de­fense co­op­er­a­tion with In­done­sia had given Fiji hope in terms of se­cu­rity in Pa­cific, adding that he looked for­ward for the place­ment of In­done­sia’s de­fense at­taché in Fiji.

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween Fiji and In­done­sia is very im­por­tant for us,” Kubuabola said. — JP

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