INDONESIA: Australia’s new Prime Minister and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo rode bamboo bicycles together on Monday as they held talks to boost ties, as Canberra embarks on a diplomatic charm offensive aimed at countering China’s growing assertiveness in the region.
Anthony Albanese hailed relations with Indonesia and vowed to strengthen them on his first bilateral trip since being elected last month, choosing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy as an early stop in what has become a tradition for new Australian premiers.
After a Guard of Honour, Indonesian President Joko Widodo presented Albanese with a bicycle at the presidential palace in Bogor — a city south of capital Jakarta — where the pair removed their jackets, donned helmets and rode around the grounds.
“Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is one of our most important. We are linked not just by geography, we are linked by choice,” Albanese said in a joint press conference held after talks. – GULF NEWS