INDONESIAN President Joko Widodo has emphasised the need for cordial relations with Papua New Guinea.
He told a State dinner at Parliament House last night, hosted by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, that PNG was a very important neighbour.
“We have lived together, side by side, share the same land mass, and we share the same hope,” he said.
“Our shared culture, shared traditions, and shared values between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have paired us as brothers. Papua New Guinea provides an important link between Indonesia and the Pacific region.
“Papua New Guinea and Indonesia will help to forge cooperation and friendship among Melanesian countries in the region.”
Earlier, Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio remarked on the close friendship and cooperation between PNG and Indonesia since they formalised diplomatic ties in 1975.
“Papua New Guinea appreciates the technical assistance provided by Indonesia and looks to your country to assist in promoting stronger development ties between our two countries,” Sir Michael said.
“I would like to reaffirm to you on behalf of the Government and people of PNG that we respect your sovereignty as a nation and we stand by that,” he said.
Widodo invited Sir Michael to visit Indonesia to further the relations between the two countries.