Indonesia, Norway Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere signed here Monday a declaration to boost bilateral cooperation and to join hand in hand in tackling global problems.

“We have a very close relationship. But what we want to see now is that both countries can work together to help find solutions to global problems,” Marty told a joint press conference after the meeting.

In bilateral cooperation, Norway and Indonesia will focus among others on tackling climate change and energy security, and seeking the possibility of exploring marine resources. “We celebrate our 60th anniversary of relations this year. We will take it to the next level with this declaration,” Stoere told The Jakarta Post in a separate interview Sunday.

Indonesia and Norway signed a US$1 billion climate deal in May requiring Jakarta to impose a two-year moratorium on exploiting natural forests and peatland by 2011 as well as setting up independent institutions as well as financial, measurable, reportable and verifiable schemes.

Both ministers discussed the follow up of the letter of intent on reducing emissions from deforestaion and forest degredation (REDD+), which was signed by Marty and Norwegian Environment and International Development Minister Erik Solheim in Oslo in May.

Stoere said Indonesia was on the right track to meet the money disbursement requirements.

“When there is progress on the Indonesian side, the resources will be unleashed. Once that happens in 2011 then we are ready to go,” he said.

Beside climate change, both ministers agreed to cooperate in pushing for nuclear disarmament, ways to achieve MDGs, reducing global health threats and enhancing global intermedia and interfaith dialogue among people of both countries as well as bolstering promotion and protection of human rights.

“Norway and Indonesia are pioneering how global health issues, such as epidemics and virus sharing, become part of our foreign policy,” Stoere said.

The two ministers also discussed plans for an economic partnership agreement between Indonesia
and European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

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