Remarks With Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa Before Their Meeting

Statement

By:  John Kerry
Date: May 16, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I am delighted to be here with Foreign Minister Natalegawa from Indonesia. And there are a number of reasons why my opportunity to meet with the Foreign Minister is important.
First of all, we are representing the second and third largest democracies in the world. And that is an important reason for us to work on a number of different things, but to be committed as partners. We also do a great deal with respect to counter-narcotics, protection of the environment, trade issues, disaster relief, and maritime security. And all of these things are extremely important to our relationship.

In addition to that, Indonesia will be chairing the APEC conference this year, and I'm particularly looking forward to being part of that conference, going out there. We will have, I think, a very exciting agenda that the Foreign Minister and Indonesia have settled on regarding connectivity, increasing connectivity, globalization of trade, working on a number of the environment and other challenges in law enforcement and maritime security. So we have a big agenda.

And in the end, we are particularly interested in furthering this relationship as much as we can because Indonesia plays such a critical role in the balance of interests in that region, and because we've been rebalancing ourselves towards Asia. And so this relationship becomes even more important. So I'm very grateful that the Minister is here to spend some time talking through our issues. Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Thank you very much, Secretary. Likewise, I am delighted to be back in Washington. And thank you for making it possible for the two of us to meet. I echo the points that you have said. Our relations -- our two countries' relations are strong; they're solid. We enjoy what we call comprehensive partnership; it's a broad subject matter on which we cooperate, and this truly is in a sense a partnership among friends, mutually beneficial, and of a mutual -- a great deal of mutual interest. I wish through our discussion this afternoon not only to strengthen that bilateral relations, but to further project closer cooperation on many regional and global issues as well.

SECRETARY KERRY: Look forward to it.

FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Welcome.