Indonesia and Afghanistan Agree to Enhance Cooperation

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Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday afternoon (4/5) paid a state visit to Indonesia. It is a historical visit since it is the first time that a head of state of Afghanistan comes to Indonesia.

“It is an honor for Indonesia to accept the visit of Afghan President His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. This state visit is the first time for His Majesty to Indonesia,” President Jokowi told a joint press conference at the State Palace, Jakarta.

Through his statement, the president indicated that Afghanistan is considered a country with special affinity to Indonesia. The two countries also have a good relation for the past 62 years.

“Indonesia welcomes the efforts made by the Afghan government in creating stability and peace. Indonesia is ready to share experiences on reconciliation for peace,” said the president.

Meanwhile, in the capacity building, Indonesia and Afghanistan have agreed to expand cooperation in law, housing and public works, fiscal policy, as well as higher education.

“So far, Indonesia has provided training to 358 Afghan people in 47 programs, including agriculture, police, women’s empowerment, and administration,” he said.

President Ghani expressed his gratitude to Indonesia as the largest Muslim country in the world which helped achieve the peace in Afghanistan.

“Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population has played an important role in efforts to achieve the peace in our country and we welcome the support of Indonesia to maintain it,” he said further.

To improve the education sector between the two countries, President Ghani proposed to exchange scholars between Indonesia and Afghanistan to work together on Islamic culture.

“There are a lot of achievements in education that both our countries should be proud of. We also propose an exchange of scholars between Indonesia and Afghanistan to share and work together on subjects related to the Islamic culture and also through dialogues with the Muslim scholars of Indonesia,” he said.

Afghanistan itself has considered Indonesia as a big country with a positive image. In fact, when President Ghani was still a student, he had heard about Indonesia.

“Indonesia has a lot of significant achievements, so that when I was a student, Indonesia was given as an example for big countries,” said President Ghani.

“You just heard yourself how President Ashraf Ghani praised Indonesia which although our country consists of 17 thousand islands, and there are 714 ethnics and 1,100 more local languages, but still all are united and its unity is very good,” said President Jokowi to the journalists after seeing off President Ghani who was leaving the Presidential Palace complex.