Sunday, December 10, 2023

Indonesia, Iran strengthen ties through 8th policy planning dialog

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Hanif Muhammad





Indonesia and Iran are strengthening their diplomatic ties for 44 years since the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to Ambassador of Iran to Indonesia Mohammad Azad. The ambassador highlighted the close relations between the two countries in global affairs, human rights and economic and cultural exchanges.

The presidential visits from both countries and online webinars on political, cultural and economic issues have deepened the ties. The two countries are also exploring cultural exchange programs and collaboration on national libraries.

Policy planning dialog

The 8th Indonesia-Iran policy planning dialog took place in Tehran on February 14, 2023, showed a significant impact on a shared understanding amid trust deficit in the region and the world.

Indonesia’s Foreign Policy Strategy Agency (BSKLN) and Iran’s Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in the form of joint research to identify innovative steps to enhance bilateral relations. The dialog was a platform for intellectual exchange. Regional and global issues of mutual concern were also discussed using research findings and studies by both parties.

The dialog emphasized the importance of maintaining seven decades of valuable assets based on friendship and brotherhood.

“It is necessary to encourage forms of economic cooperation that are free from the effects of sanctions, including the option of using the national currencies of the two countries and barter trade,” IPIS Vice President for Research Khalil Shirgholami said in a statement released by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

The Indonesian Ambassador to Iran Ronny Prasetyo Yuliantoro said the bilateral cooperation has been developing in many fields. With the existing challenges, such as sanctions against Iran, both parties need to find the best way to overcome these obstacles.

Iran as an essential partner

Indonesia considers Iran an essential partner as the bilateral relations between the two countries continue to grow closer and stronger, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on February 10, 2023, as quoted by The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the government-to-government, business-to-business and people-to-people engagement between the two countries.

Sadikin believes that Indonesia-Iran preferential trade agreement, which will be signed soon, will increase the trade flow between the two countries. In the health sector, the two countries are collaborating on telemedicine and robotic tele-surgery centers.

These projects are a part of Indonesia’s system transformation program and highlight the power of Iranian technology that Indonesia can benefit from. Sadikin hopes to expand the cooperation beyond investment and manufacturing to advance local content and production in pharmacy and medical devices. Both countries also discuss sensitive issues in various bilateral mechanisms, including dialogs on human rights, women, and children.

Hanif Muhammad






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