SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  It is a real pleasure to have Foreign Minister Retno here and to be able to launch the Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Indonesia – something that was agreed upon some years ago but that we are now actually initiating and launching.

Indonesia is a strong democratic partner for the United States.  We’re working together on so many different fronts.  We deeply appreciate the strong voice that Indonesia has within ASEAN, where the United States is deeply engaged, and we’re very much looking forward to your presidency of the G20 next year.  I think we’ll have an opportunity to talk about that as well as about, I think, opportunities for even increased trade and investment between our countries and a host of regional issues and challenges where we are working together.

And of course, we will talk about COVID-19.  The United States is very pleased to be able to share four and a half million doses of vaccine with Indonesia and recently added another three and a half million doses as well as working on other things like oxygen and therapeutics.  But we’ll be able to talk about the work that we’re doing together to combat COVID-19 and to strengthen the global health security system.

So these and many other topics, but mostly I’m very pleased, Madam Minister, to have you here in Washington at the State Department.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARSUDI:  Secretary Blinken, first of all, thank you very much for having me today, and I am very pleased to have the first Strategic Dialogue between the two strategic partners, Indonesia and the U.S.  And for Indonesia, it is my commitment and Indonesia commitment to advance the bilateral relations with the U.S., from the health to SDGs, from education to economy and beyond.

And I would like also to convey our highest appreciation for your support to Indonesia during the pandemic.  Beyond the bilateral relation, as the largest democracy country in Southeast Asia, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia, the strong partnership between Indonesia and the U.S. will be a key asset for your increasing engagement in the region.  And the U.S. is one of the important partners for ASEAN in the implementation of ASEAN outlook from the Indo-Pacific.  And I am very honored to be the next coordinator for ASEAN-U.S. relations.

And finally, next year Indonesia will assume the G20 presidency, and I count on your support for the Indonesian presidency, and let us work together for an inclusive, clean, and sustainable recovery.  I thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much.

U.S. Department of State

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