Indonesia reaffirmed its commitment to support the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan during a meeting in Kabul between Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday (06/11).
“Indonesia remains committed to support Afghanistan in the peace process and reconciliation,” Retno said, as quoted in a statement.
She added that as the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia stands ready to “offer whatever we can do to contribute to peace-building in Afghanistan.”
According to Arrmanatha Nasir, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Retno’s visit is a follow-up to Ghani’s visit to Indonesia earlier in April.
Indonesia and Afghanistan at that time agreed to step up cooperation, particularly focusing on peace-building, capacity-building, trade and investment.
Retno’s visit marks the first by an Indonesian foreign minister to Afghanistan since 1961, when then-President Sukarno and his entourage visited the country.
Retno also held a meeting with Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili. HPC is expected to visit Indonesia in the near future upon an invitation from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“Afghanistan wants to learn from Indonesia’s experience in building and preserving peace,” Ghani said, as quoted in a statement.
Retno also discussed efforts to increase trade, investment and cultural exchanges during her meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani during her one-day visit to Kabul.
The foreign ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on a grant agreement for clinics, through which Indonesia will help finance the development of medical facilities in Afghanistan.
Retno also offered 100 scholarships to Afghan students, women police officers and diplomatic training.
Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani is also expected to visit Indonesia in December to coordinate with officials here on a joint female empowerment program.
There are at least 14,500 refugees and asylum-seekers in Indonesia, roughly half of whom come from Afghanistan, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative in Indonesia.