Greece opens its doors to strategic Indonesia
The Minister of National Defence, Panos Kammenos, paid an Official Visit to Indonesia at the beginning of the month upon invitation of his Indonesian counterpart, Minister of Defence of Indonesia, Ryamizard Ryacudu, during which time they discussed issues relating to the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries.
They further expressed their satisfaction over the existing cooperation between Greek and Indonesian companies in the defence field and the prospects of its further development. The Chairman of the Committee on Armament Programmes and Contracts of the Hellenic Parliament, Makis Ballis, also attended the meeting.
Within the context of his Official Visit, the Greek Defence Minister also met with the Vice-President of Indonesia, Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, the President of the Parliament, Ade Komarudin, the Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee, Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, and members of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Indonesian Parliament.
During their meetings they underlined the cooperation capabilities between the two countries and expressed their will to enhance bilateral relations in the field of defence, in which there is already cooperation between the Greek and Indonesian defence companies. The meetings were also attended by the Mr. Ballis, who extended an invitation to the President of the Parliament of Indonesia, on behalf of the President of the Greek Parliament, to visit Greece on a date to be determined via diplomatic channels, which was accepted.
After meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Minister Kammenos said that for Greece, “Indonesia is one of the safest nations.” Witnessing the conducive security situation, he said that he would not hesitate to invite investors from his country to invest in Indonesia. “We also open the door for Indonesia and the Asian markets,” he added at the office of the Vice President at the Presidential Palace complex, reaffirming that he looked to Indonesia as one of the most populous countries in the world that is strategic for Greece.
According to him, the cooperation between Indonesia and Greece is not only in the field of defence and security, but also in business and agriculture. “Indonesia and Greece have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the agricultural sector,” he said.
During his meeting with Vice President Kalla, Minister Kammenos also expressed the desire of his country to cooperate with Indonesia in the field of tourism.
Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Greece were established in 1960; however, it was not until the 1990s that both nations finally established resident ambassadors and embassies in each respective country. The Embassy of Indonesia in Athens was opened in 1994, while the Embassy of Greece in Jakarta was opened in 1997.
A few dozen Greeks reside in Indonesia, mostly in Jakarta and Bali, and most of them are freelance professionals. Indonesia and Greece share similarities too; both are democratic and archipelagic nations and both possess notable archaeological sites. Therefore, in addition to cooperation in politics, maritime transportation and shipping, other potential areas to be explored include the culture and tourism industries.
Whilst in Indonesia, Minister Kammenos attended the inauguration of the ‘Indo Defence 2016 Expo and Forum’ Exhibition and visited the stands of the Greek companies that participate in the fair. He and his Indonesian counterpart also witnessed the signing of a Letter of Intent for the Military-Technical Cooperation of Greece and Indonesia, co-signed by the GDDIA Alternate Director General Vice Admiral (ret) Kyriakos Kyriakidis and the Director of Military Strategy of Indonesia Major General Dirjen Strahan Yoedhi Swastanto.
The Greek Minister of National Defence was also called upon to declare the opening of the works of the first meeting of Greek and Indonesian defence companies, held in Jakarta. In his address he stressed the importance of defence cooperation between the two countries and the role Greece may play because of its know-how.
Pictured above: Minister Kammenos with Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla. Right: witnessing the signing of Military-Technical Cooperation alongside his Indonesian counterpart, Ryamizard Ryacudu. Below left: with Parliament President Ade Komarudin and Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee Nurhayati Ali Assegaf.