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It is a real pleasure for me to welcome again my friend, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi.
We have – between Indonesia and the European Union – a very strong friendship and partnership. Even if we are geographically very far away we share a common interest and a common approach to addressing the challenges we face both in our respective regions - in Asia and in Europe - and in our neighbourhood - and in particular the neighbourhood that we have between us in the Middle East.
We discuss and meet very often, if you consider the distance, and it is always a pleasure and it is very productive whenever we are able to discuss our common agenda in person because really, Indonesia and the European Union have a common approach on most if not all the most pressing global issues we face.
This morning we have focussed on the Middle East situation, in particular after the recent US administration decision on Jerusalem.
Both the Minister and myself have created the opportunities to have many talks and meetings on the situation in Jerusalem in these last few days. She [the Minister] just comes from the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] Summit and, as you know, we have just hosted Prime Minister [of Israel, Benjamin] Netanyahu in Brussels, [United States] Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson, and the Foreign Minister of Jordan [Ayman Safadi].
So we compared notes on how we see the situation in Jerusalem and I shared with the Minister [Marsudi] the clear, consolidated, strong and united position of the European Union. We believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two States: a State of Palestine and a State of Israel with Jerusalem as the capital of both, along '67 lines.
The Foreign Minister and I agreed today that we must keep working towards this solution, together, creating the right international framework to accompany the relaunching of direct negotiations, with a clear political horizon of two States with Jerusalem as the capital of both. And we decided that we will continue to keep in close contact, also to support the voices of moderation and wisdom that are still prevailing in the region but that are challenged as we see.
We have a common interest in making sure that this doesn't become a trend that endangers the entire region and potentially the Muslim world at large, which means - Indonesia being the largest Muslim-populated country in the world but also having a Muslim population in Europe - we also share a common interest that this doesn't become a religious issue.
We also discussed the situation in Myanmar. We were together a couple of weeks ago in Myanmar for the ASEM [Asia-Europe Meeting] Ministerial Meeting, and we mainly discussed the situation across the border in Bangladesh.
Both the European Union and Indonesia have been very active throughout the crisis. We have worked together, consulted each other several times, also in various bodies of the United Nations to ensure that action is taken to help the Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar.
We share the assessment that the bilateral agreement that has been signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh – and that we discussed when we were together in Myanmar - on the return of those who have been displaced is a first step in the right direction after so many months and years of inaction. It can be a starting point, which is positive.
But obviously we have to guarantee that with the support, monitoring and accompaniment of the international community – starting from us this agreement constitutes an entry point to address the crisis through the establishment of a practical process for safe, voluntary, and dignified returns. Our attention will now focus on that implementation.
We know that the situation in Myanmar is complex. It is a country still in a democratic transition that the European Union is committed to supporting through this challenging time, including the full implementation of the recommendations of the [Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, the] Annan report, to which Aung San Suu Kyi stressed her commitment.
So I believe that we also share a common vision and a common commitment to accompany the implementation of this agreement in the best possible manner.
Retno, once again, thank you for very much for deciding to come and visit us so early in this tour that I understand you are going to make, discussing mainly the situation in Jerusalem. But thank you also for your friendship and our cooperation on the many different fields we have in common.
Link to video : https://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I148655