Indo-Pacific: French and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers meet in Paris

The French and Indonesian foreign and defence ministers met on Friday 21 July in Paris to discuss diplomacy and military issues. A meeting that shows the role of essential ally that Jakarta represents for Paris in the Indo-Pacific.

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the entrance to the Elysee Palace in Paris, July 21, 2023. AFP - BERTRAND GUAY

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The Indonesian ministers, Retno Marsudi and Prabowo Subianto, were received with great pomp by Sébastien Lecornu and Catherine Colonna this Friday in the gardens of the Ministry of Defense with military honors. Bilateral cooperation in defense and security, economic relations and the international situation, including the war in Ukraine, will be at the heart of the discussions, according to the French Foreign Ministry.

For the France seeking to position itself in the region against China, Indonesia has everything to please since it is the largest country in Southeast Asia with an annual growth of more than 5%, political stability and of course a geographical position of choice. Indonesia is also at the crossroads between India and China, at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

At the Ministry of Defense, it is explained that this Friday's meeting is a milestone, first to follow the ongoing arms contracts that relate to the purchase of 42 Rafale fighter jets by Indonesia for $ 8 billion. But this meeting also aims to expand cooperation between the two countries.

Strengthening maritime and air safety


Our relationship began on equipment and armament relations, but we want to densify it, towards two objectives, explains the Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu. First, joint training, to strengthen air safety and maritime safety, but also the training of non-commissioned officers, especially in equipment.


For its part, Indonesia, subject to the influence of China, is at the same time trying to diversify its alliances, and this involves the West. While the ministers were meeting in Paris, Jakarta was conducting major military exercises with twelve other countries, including France and the United States, off Australia.

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and with AFP)

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  • France
  • Indonesia
  • Diplomacy