Tehran, Jakarta Discuss Cooperation, Muslim Issues

Tehran, Jakarta Discuss Cooperation, Muslim IssuesTehran, Jakarta Discuss Cooperation, Muslim Issues

Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi discussed mutual cooperation and problems of Muslims.

In a Friday meeting in Jakarta, Rahimpour said the two governments are serious about developing bonds of friendship, pointing to frequent contacts between the two countries' officials, including last week's trip of Indonesia's Parliament Speaker Zulkifli Hasan to Tehran and a recent session of the joint economic commission. Rahimpour described the upcoming visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Tehran as "very important", saying the conditions are ripe for a major transformation in bilateral ties, IRNA reported.

Widodo's trip to Tehran is scheduled for later this month. Marsudi said enhancing relations to a higher level, which Indonesia is keen about, requires the removal of some obstacles, particularly those related to banking connections.

The two officials also discussed developments in the Muslim world, expressing regret about the situation of over 1.1 million Rohingya people in Myanmar who have been deprived of their citizenship.

Marsudi said, "Indonesia is going to help the Myanmar government in restoring the rights of the Muslim minority and preparing the ground for peaceful coexistence between them and other people in Myanmar, just like what is happening in Indonesia."

The government in Myanmar brands Rohingyas "illegal immigrants" from Bangladesh, and as a result of its anti-Muslim policies that have emboldened the government-allied Buddhist extremists, hundreds of people of the minority community have been killed and thousands of others have been forced to flee their homes since 2012.

The Myanmar Army has recently stepped up its crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, following a deadly attack on the country's border guards on October 9 that it blames on armed Rohingyas.

  Efforts to Promote Democracy

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Ninth Bali Democracy Forum that opened in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, on Thursday, following the theme of "Religion, Democracy and Pluralism".

BDF is an intergovernmental forum on the development of democracy in the Asia-Pacific region initiated by Indonesia in 2008. In an address to the two-day international event on Thursday, Rahimpour said global peace and security depend on the collective cooperation of all members of the international community.

"The will of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to consolidate and strengthen collaboration with neighbors and the global community, while respecting cultural and religious diversities," he said.

Rahimpour noted that Iran is working to promote stability in the region, a precondition for the spread of democracy there, describing the Israeli regime, which has been depriving millions of Palestinians of their basic rights for decades, as a main threat to democracy in West Asia.


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