Australia PM Albanese concludes trip to Indonesia

Newly elected Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will conclude a trip to Indonesia today focused on improving bilateral relations. Albanese

Australia PM Albanese concludes trip to Indonesia

Australia PM Albanese with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Indonesian Presidential Palace during his trip – Photo: Laily Rachev/Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP

Newly elected Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will conclude a trip to Indonesia today focused on improving bilateral relations.

Albanese has been in Indonesia since Sunday along with Foreign Minister Penny Wong and the ministers for trade and industry. The Australian contingent met with the Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday. Wong, who was born in Malaysia, is herself a sign of the new Labor government’s commitment to Southeast Asia.

Given the overall positive reception the Australian delegation received, the two regional powers are likely to deepen cooperation in trade and security. This follows several years of largely frosty relations between the two, which saw several diplomatic rows, including Jakarta’s insistence on executing Australian citizens on death row and Australia joining AUKUS in 2021. Indonesia is proudly non-aligned and consequently is wary of outside powers asserting influence in the region.

Still, both countries are viewing China’s increasing assertiveness across the Pacific region with concern and will therefore seek to work together in countering Beijing’s growing influence. The two neighbors will likely strengthen their defense and security ties in the coming months, despite their notoriously complicated relationship. As a sign of his commitment to Indonesia, Albanese has already promised that he would attend this year’s controversial Indonesia-hosted G20 summit, to which Widodo also invited Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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