MANILA -- President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday described the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a “lead agent” in bringing peace amid global issues.
“We agreed that ASEAN is going to be the lead agent in the changes that we would like to see in continuing to bring peace to our countries,” Marcos said in a press statement at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java, Indonesia.
Marcos said the regional bloc’s role in the regional security architecture is vital to attaining peace and security.
“We also spoke at length about the role that we believe ASEAN should play while we face the difficulties in this very volatile time in geopolitics not only in our region but also in the rest of the world,” said Marcos.
In a bid to bolster partnerships with the close neighbor, Marcos said they both agreed to organize task forces “at the technical level” to take advantage of the opportunities for both Manila and Jakarta.
“We continue to work on growing our relationship to making it stronger. So much so that, in actual fact, our discussions progressed so rapidly that we, the President and I, have agreed to organize task forces already to meet and discuss even at a technical level, no longer at the political or the diplomatic level, but at a technical level, so as to be able to take a full advantage of the opportunities that we feel that are available to us and that we will need to exploit to succeed in the near future,” said Marcos.
Widodo, for his part, underlined the importance of bolstering ASEAN centrality and unity.
“Indonesia wishes to ensure that ASEAN remains an engine of peace, stability, peace, and prosperity in the region. ASEAN must be able to address the challenges ahead and strengthen respect for the ASEAN Charter, Widodo said.
Widodo underscored the importance of implementing the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific through concrete and inclusive cooperation to strengthen ASEAN centrality.
“In this context, Indonesia will organize the Indo-Pacific infrastructure for next year. I also appreciate the commitment of Philippines to extend its full support in Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN in 2023,” said Widodo.
Marcos said his visit to Jakarta is “only the beginning” of the many important partnerships set to be undertaken by both countries.
“I believe that we have made the proper choice in coming to Jakarta as my first State Visit as President of the Philippines, and I believe that this is only the beginning of many more things to come between Indonesia and the Philippines,” Marcos said. (PND)