Indonesian Ambassador: "We support sovereignty of Azerbaijan" - INTERVIEW

We want to make our relations as one nation in three countries - Azerbaijan, Turkey and Indonesia

Baku. 22 July. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents an interview with the Ambassador of Indonesia to Azerbaijan Husnan Bey Fananie.

- Mr. Ambassador, how do you assess bilateral political ties between two countries? What will be your targets as the Ambassador of Indonesia in Azerbaijan?

- Indonesia and Azerbaijan have established diplomatic relations in 1992 after Azerbaijan gained an independence. We recognized Azerbaijan as independent country in the United Nations. But real contact with Azerbaijan were established in 2005 after Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Indonesia. And we opened our embassy in 2010. Since that time we also had good connection in bilateral relation in all spheres, especially in economy. We was buying your oil because we can't fulfill our needs. With 2.5 bln. USD we were third biggest importer of oil from Azerbaijan after Germany and Italy. We also produce oil. We produce 800 000 barrels of oil per day, but we need 1,8 mln. barrels per day. Azerbaijan's oil is very good and better that oil from Middle East or Africa. That's why we need your oil.

In political dimension we support you in UN, OIC and other international organization. You know, that with population of 280 mln. people Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country. So it is fruitful for Azerbaijan to have relations with Indonesia and Indonesia is also happy to have relations with Azerbaijan. Indonesia is a leader of Association South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), including 12 nations. We have a free trade zone, free market. All these 12 countries with 700-800 mln. people make very big market. Nowadays ASEAN is the most growing market and better than Africa or even Europe. So we want bring Azerbaijan and brother Turkey to ASEAN. We want to sell our products and make trade with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

- How do you assess economical ties between Indonesia and Azerbaijan? Are there any perspectives for business cooperation?

- In Indonesia we produce metro carriages that we export to Taiwan, Latin America, Nigeria. Also we produce spare parts. All spare parts for Toyota produced in Indonesia. If you see them, know that they are not produced in Japan. At the same time we produce cargo aircrafts. So we can make a cooperation in these areas.

As to trade turnover, now, it is low, only 30 mln. USD. That's why Indonesia wants to upgrade this number. You know, Azerbaijan has close relations and traditional trade connections with Turkey. You have relations with Turkey as "one nation in two countries", but we want to make it "one nation in three countries" - Azerbaijan, Turkey and Indonesia, to improve our economy, trade, cultural areas. We want our students to go to study to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani students to go to study in Indonesia. I have a vision in this regard.

- Are there any discussions on launching regular or charter flights between two countries?

- This is one important thing. We are too far away. Until now we don't have direct flights, only transit flights via Doha or Istanbul, which takes 14 hours. We have to make relationship between two air companies - Garuda Indonesia and Azerbaijan Airlines - to establish cooperation on code-sharing agreement. When direct flights between Jakarta and Baku are visible it will be easy to develop business, culture, trade. So, direct flights between two countries is very important.

- What's the position of Indonesia regarding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

- Indonesia still states that Karabakh is owned by Azerbaijan and we support you. We support your sovereignty. Karabakh is you land. But we also support peace dialogue, we don't support military fight, because during fights people from both sides die. We don't want it.

- Can we expect any official visits between our countries?

- We had many visit from Indonesia. Many parliamentarians, our speaker came to Baku. But now we invited President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to visit Jakarta and we hope if not this year, next year he will visit Indonesia. At the same time we hope that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit Baku.

- This year Baku hosted Formula 1 race, where Indonesian driver was performing and in 2017 Azerbaijan will host Islamic Solidarity Games. What's your opinion on these tournaments?

- We are proud of you that you organized Grand Prix of Formula 1. It showed that you can organize such a prestigious event. And Indonesia also participated there with one racer from Formula 1 and two Indonesian racers from GP2 and people from Azerbaijan supported us as a Muslim country.

As to Islamic Games, you know, before Baku, Islamic Solidarity Games were held in Palembang in Indonesia. You know, we have special sport which is called penchak silat, which also popular in Azerbaijan. There are 38 centers of penchak silat in Azerbaijan. We asked your minister of sport to include penchak silat into the program of Islamic Solidarity Games. Azerbaijan has 3 world champions of penchak silat. This is not only sport, this is part of Indonesian culture. Hopefully, these Games will be successfull.

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