Indonesia Discusses Security Cooperation, Middle East Peace Efforts With Russia

10 February 2016 Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay P. Petrushev in Jakarta on Wednesday, 10.02.2016 to discuss security cooperation, including Indonesia's peace efforts in the Middle East, a top minister said.

"The president explained efforts currently being made by Indonesia in the Middle East, and invited Russia to take part in fostering peace there," said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who accompanied Joko during the hour-long meeting at the State Palace. Earlier this year, Retno visited the Middle East to help broker peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose political ties have acutely deteriorated over the Sunni kingdom's execution of a dissident Shiite cleric.

Indonesia and Russia also agreed to exchange intelligence information as part of an efforts to eradicate terrorism. Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Luhut Panjaitan, who also attend the meeting, said both nations have agreed to step up military and cyber cooperation as well. During the meeting, Joko invited Russia to attend the upcoming Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on Palestine.

The event is scheduled for March 6 and 7 in Jakarta, with the expected attendance of 56 heads of state, as well as four observers – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

Last week, the president reiterated Indonesia's commitment to supporting Palestinian independence, as the country prepares to host the summit, slated to specifically address issues including the limited access of Jerusalem residents to the Al Aqsa mosque, a key site of Islamic worship. Russia also supports Palestinian statehood.