The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for Australia and Vanuatu, H.E. Primo Alui Joelianto, on the 13th until the 16th of April 2010 visited Vanuatu to pay courtesy calls to several new high officials in Vanuatu.
In his meeting with the President of Vanuatu, H.E. Mr. Jhonson Abbil, the Ambassador described Indonesia’s look East policy since 2002, explained President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s policy of “a million friends and zero enemies”, and detailed the similarity between Indonesia dan Vanuatu being both archipelagic states. The Ambassador reiterated Indonesia’s wish to attain observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group because Indonesia is home to the largest population of ethnic Melanesians, and because of Indonesia’s geographic endowment as a natural bridge between Indonesia and the South Pacific. Vanuatu’s President welcomed Indonesia’s attention and invited the Indonesian Government to attend the 30th anniversary of the independence of Vanuatu on the 30th of July 2010, which will coincide with a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
The Ambassador also held a meeting with Vanuatu’s Minister of Justice and Women’s Empowerment, Bakoa Kaltongga. As a former Foreign Minister, she is one of many in Vanuatu who acknowledge that dialog and cooperation with Indonesia is much more productive than raising the Papua issue and questioning Indonesia’s sovereignty.
In the Ambassador’s meeting with Vanuatu’s acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Health Minister Moses Kahu said it is important for both countries to hold routine consultations. Also discussed were Foreign Minister Natuman’s visit to Jakarta and a program to commemorate 15 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Vanuatu. In the next meeting with the Agriculture Minister, Steven Kalsakau welcomed the desire to start a joint venture in cattle farming and stated his readiness to facilitate business-to-business cooperation between the two countries. He expressed his confidence that Indonesia can assist in the agricultural field, and specifically said that Vanuatu would be grateful if Indonesia can provide a new variety of rice to reduce Vanuatu’s imports of rice.
Separately, Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) expressed his gratitude for Indonesia’s offer to supply the uniform and boots for the VPF, and said that the design and measurements for the uniforms will be sent promptly. Another cooperation program discussed during that meeting was the traffic management training in Jakarta, basic training for the mobile brigade, an internship program for the Tourism Police, training for the paramilitary wing of the VPF, and participation in the training programs of the JCLEC. The VPF Commissioner noted that Vanuatu is open to training offers for its members in the staff college, and suggested that the Indonesian Police and its Armed Forces can send and adviser to Vanuatu.
During the Ambassadors’ meeting with the Director of the Emalus Campus, the only campus of the University of the South Pacific (USP) located in Vanuatu, discussions focused on education in law, and the possibility of bringing in instructors of Maritime Law from Indonesia to give lectures at the USP.
Canberra, May 2010