Aug 18, 2019, 1:17 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83441603
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Indonesian envoy terms Iran, neighbors as ultimate owners of Persian Gulf

Tehran, Aug 18, IRNA – Indonesian Ambassador to Iran rejected the creation of any coalition by foreign forces in the Persian Gulf and stressed that its littoral states do not need foreigners for safeguarding the region.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA, Octavino Alimudin said: "For Indonesia, we expect that the littoral states of the Persian Gulf should sit together and discuss because for Indonesia."

"We see the similar case in Malacca Strait we also need to discuss among our neighbors because when we talk about the security and the environment this cannot be done by asking the foreign countries to make some coalitions."

"The most important thing is the unity among the littoral states," Indonesian diplomat reiterated.

In line with Iranophobia policies being pursued by certain western media, he noted that "Americans are after creating a coalition in the Persian Gulf which will increase tensions in the region more than ever."

Reminding that many countries, including Japan, Germany, France and Spain have so far opposed joining the maritime coalition, the Ambassador emphasized that "the Islamic Republic of Iran and its neighbors are the ones who are the ultimate owners of the Persian Gulf," he emphasized.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Alimudin referred to the recent meeting between Iran and UAE coastguards, saying: "It is important to take some confidence-building measures among the littoral states of the Persian Gulf."

He also urged Iran to call on all the Persian Gulf states and to convince them about the need to reject foreigners' presence in the waterway.

In response to IRNA correspondent who mentioned the long history of relations between the two countries, Indonesian ambassador said: "The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Indonesia span more than 60 years now."

"We have reached the level that we could trust each other," Alimudin added.

Stressing the fact that both sides enjoy dialogue in all fields, he said: "We have no issues at all in politics, economy, culture and even security."

"In economy and trade, we are trying to develop and diversify and find some ways to see how we can move from this current position."

"In the education and science, we conducted many researches as well as education cooperation for the higher education students," he said.

For much of the interview, the Indonesian senior diplomat elaborated on tourism capacities of Iran and Indonesia, saying: "We talked about direct flight between Iran and Indonesia especially with the capital cities or the most interesting cities for both countries."

"We still get some indirect flights also they go from Tehran to Kuala Lumpur or to Bangkok and then to Indonesian cities," Alimudin noted.

"They transit in Kuala Lumpur and don’t need to stay for seven to eight hours and they just go directly with the Indonesian flights this is what that we try to connect," he said adding that it is not advantageous to have direct flight due to loading factors.

"But I think in the future with the situation now the Iranian rial currency gets stable more, and more Iranians are capable of going overseas for holiday," he said.

He went on to say that this was the first time for the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism to participate in the Tehran International Tourism Exhibition in February.

The 12th edition of the Tehran International Tourism Exhibition was held in the Iranian capital on February 12-15.

Apart from Iran, 11 foreign countries, including Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Pakistan attended the event.

"In October, we (will) also send another group of tourism promotion to make some events in Tehran. We hope we keep on promoting Indonesia and on the other hand for Indonesians to know better about Iran."

"We have more and more Indonesians visiting Iran for pilgrims and now they are also coming for historical and other reasons," he said underlining the importance of lifting visa to encourage Indonesian tourists to visit Iran.

"We had visa on arrival until 2013," he said expressing hope for the tourism authorities of both countries to discuss the issue.

Responding to another question on the exchange of delegations between two countries, he said that during the last quarter of the current year, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific region Mahmoud Farazandeh visited Jakarta during which he discussed mostly the economic issues with Indonesian officials.

"Three days ago we had the visit of our parliamentary delegation, so our head of national security and foreign policy commission of our parliament met his counterpart in Majlis and they also met the deputy foreign Minister Dr Araghchi and during that meeting because we focused on the security we shared our view of how we protected our country and how we could also share experiences."

He went on to say: "The Islamic Republic of Iran is really keen on sharing expertise and the experience in dealing with terrorism and some unilateral acts that disturb the security and we mentioned our position as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council where both Muslim countries can raise their voice."

Regarding the regional issues including Palestine and Yemen crises, he said "For Palestine issues, we share our position (with Iran). I think similar to what the Islamic Republic of Iran position."

"We want to make sure that the state of Palestine will survive," Alimudin reiterated.

With regard to Yemen, he believed humanitarian [bodies], WFP and other UN [affiliated] organizations should have unimpeded access to the region.

According to Indonesian Diplomatic mission's statement which was released on the occasion of the 74th Anniversary of the Indonesian Independence Day, "In the whole last year, Indonesia has maintained its tight relations in all aspect with the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"Both Governments have signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Health Cooperation between the Ministries of Health of Indonesia-Iran. Meanwhile, the Parliaments of both countries also have good cooperation in the parliamentary forum to boost their bilateral relations," it added.

"In the economic sector, Indonesia keeps strengthening its trade cooperation between both countries by reducing its tariff barrier through the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) of Indonesia – Iran which is expected to be finalized soon. Indonesia is also actively promoting economic cooperation and facilitating the interaction between the businessmen."

"The decreasing of trade rate due to the difficulties of banking/financial transactions with Iran has not reduced Iran’s interest to import leading commodities of Indonesian products such as agricultural products and processed products."

It is worth noting that to disseminate Information about Indonesia to Iranian People, particularly students and academia, in March 2019, Indonesian Embassy in Tehran has established and officially opened Indonesian Corner at the University of Islamic Denominations/Mazoheb University, Tehran and Ferdowsy University, Mashaad. In the future, the Embassy is planning to open the Corner in other universities in Iran.

9376**1424

Interview by: Ali Izadi

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