Wednesday Feb 21

Suriname foreign minister concludes Indonesia visit


badrising_marsudi2.jpg
Suriname Foreign Minister Niermala Badrising (L) meets with her Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, in Bali

By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor

BALI, Indonesia -- Ahead of the Bali Democracy Forum, which took place on December 8 to 9, the foreign minister of Suriname, Niermala Badrising, on her first visit to Indonesia, held a bilateral meeting with her Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi. During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the preparation of a joint commission and political consultation in Suriname in February 2017.

According to the official Indonesian news agency, Antara, the Suriname/Indonesia joint commission and political consultation will discuss cooperation in five fields and the first item on the agenda is Indonesia’s cooperation to support Suriname’s diplomat training program.

Marsudi said the foreign affairs ministries of Indonesia and Suriname will cooperate closely in developing the curriculum for a diplomatic training centre.

"The diplomatic training centre in Suriname has just been established, and Indonesia is keen to share its experience with Suriname in terms of a diplomatic training program," Retno said.

She added that the second stage of cooperation is in the field of tourism, as Suriname would like to learn more from Indonesia about tourism development.

"The third stage is cooperation in the oil palm sector, because Suriname would like to invite Indonesian investors to invest in their oil palm plantations," Retno affirmed.

The Indonesian foreign affairs minister added that the fourth stage is cooperation in infrastructure, and the fifth is in flood prevention. Suriname, much of which lies below sea level, is often vulnerable to flooding after heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, Badrising remarked that her country wanted to use Indonesian experts in the field of diplomacy.

"Indonesia has a better diplomatic development program, and therefore, we would like to cooperate to develop the diplomatic training centre in Suriname," she said.

According to Badrising, Indonesia had seen great success in educating young, middle-aged and senior diplomats, Antara reported.

In addition, Badrising noted that Suriname would like to use Indonesian experts to develop the tourism industry in her country, considering Bali as an example of tourism development in Indonesia. Suriname is considering expanding its tourism sector but is facing financial and capacity constraints.

There was no mention of Retno Marsudi’s upcoming visit to Suriname in January.

While in Bali, Badrising also met the Palestinian foreign minister Al-Maliki. The two diplomats discussed developing relations between the two countries, as well as the possibility for Suriname benefitting from Palestinian expertise.

Al-Maliki expressed Palestine’s desire to send a number of experts in the field of medicine, agricultural engineering, solar energy and businessmen through the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA).

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