Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the choice of Indonesia as the first country he visited was partly due to its proximity to the largest archipelagic country in the world geographically, culturally and ethnically.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his Philippine counterpart Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. held a bilateral meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, on Monday, after a welcoming ceremony and a tête-à-tête meeting.
“Continuing the tête-à-tête meeting, I would like to discuss bilateral and regional cooperation,” President Joko Widodo said when opening the meeting.
In his remarks, the president, who also expressed his welcome and appreciation to President Marcos Jr., believed that the Philippine president’s visit would strengthen relations between the two neighboring countries.
“It is an honor to receive Your Excellency’s first overseas visit. This confirms the bilateral relations of the two countries, under the leadership of Your Excellency. I believe that the relationship between the two countries, Indonesia and the Philippines will be even closer,” he said.
On that occasion, the Indonesian president also expressed his condolences for the passing of the 12th president of the Philippines, Fidel Ramos, last July.
The visit to Indonesia was President Marcos Jr.’s first foreign sojourn since his inauguration as the president of the Philippines in last June this year.
The Philippine president said that the choice of Indonesia as the first country he visited was partly due to its proximity to the largest archipelagic country in the world geographically, culturally and ethnically.
“I chose Indonesia, Jakarta, to be my first presidential visit for various reasons. One of them is that we are close in terms, not only of geographic location, but we are close in terms of culture. We are close in terms of ethnicity,” he said.
According to Marcos Jr., the visit was expected to lead to a strong partnership, as the two countries slowly exit from economic problems and the pandemic.
He also expressed his gratitude to President Jokowi and the government of Indonesia for the invitation and warm welcome he received.
“Even though it was my first time to Jakarta (Indonesia’s capital), we observed and I felt like I was at home. It’s because you’re so warm, you’ve welcomed us so warmly,” President Marcos Jr. said.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. likewise appreciated the long partnership that has been existing between the two countries which will celebrate the 75 years of partnership in 2024.
“We are once again grateful for your openness that has accepted us and the willingness you have shown to strengthen the relationship between the Philippines and Indonesia, which is in line with our expectations and which we will work on together,” President Macros Jr. said.
Reporting by Indonesia Window