Turkey, Politics, Asia - Pacific

'Turkey, Indonesia should unite against Islamophobia'

Turkish foreign minister stresses increased threats of Islamophobia, discrimination against Muslims

Behlul Cetinkaya and Mahmut Atanur   | 22.12.2020
'Turkey, Indonesia should unite against Islamophobia'

ANKARA 

Turkey and Indonesia should work together to support the Muslim community against Islamophobia and discrimination, according to Turkey's foreign minister on Tuesday.

"We should support the [Muslim] community by working together with Indonesia and fight against these," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference alongside Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi in Jakarta.

Cavusoglu highlighted the increased threats of Islamophobia and discrimination against the Muslim world and said the two countries should also stand together against attempts to harm their values.

"As two important Muslim countries we must protect the mutual aims and interests of our countries and the [Muslim] community," he said.

He noted that 2020 was the 70th year of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Ankara and Jakarta, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned Indonesia visit next year would initiate a High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between the two countries.

Cavusoglu said the countries had also agreed to increase the bilateral trade volume to $10 billion from the current $1.5 billion and to boost investments in both nations.

Cavusoglu and Marsudi also inked a memorandum of understanding on diplomatic cooperation, as well as diplomat exchanges and training.

For her part, Marsudi said that the two sides agreed to continue negotiations for a free trade agreement in 2021, as authorized by the leaders of both.

"The Turkey-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement has the potential to increase bilateral trade between the two countries," she said.

Welcoming Turkish investors' rising interest in Indonesia, Marsudi said: "I told Minister Cavusoglu about the employment law that was recently approved in Indonesia and encourages foreign investment. I believe this will provide a more favorable environment for Turkish investments here."

On regional and global issues, Marsudi said that they discussed the importance of strengthening multilateralism in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Emphasizing that peace and stability in the Middle East would be essential for a global recovery in the post-pandemic period, she said Indonesia and Turkey agreed to strengthen the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to find solutions for the welfare of Muslims.

*Writing by Sena Guler and Gozde Bayar

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