Indonesia yesterday praised Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for his efforts to bring peace to his violence-ravaged country, as he embarked on his first official trip to South-East Asia.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo said his country was committed to supporting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, which has grappled with a violent Taliban insurgency for 16 years.
“Indonesia appreciates measures taken by the government of Afghanistan to restore peace and stability,” Joko said after talks with Ghani at the presidential palace in Jakarta.
“Indonesia stands ready to share its experience in reconciliation to reach peace,” he said.
In 2015, Indonesia signed a peace deal with rebels in the devoutly-Muslim Aceh province, ending a decades-long insurgency that claimed more than 15,000 lives.
Afghanistan and Indonesia signed agreements on education, agriculture and bureaucratic reform during Ghani’s visit.
Nearly 4,000 Afghan asylum seekers have languished in Indonesia for years while awaiting resettlement to a third country.
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Ghani’s trip to Indonesia follows a three-day visit to Australia, which included a meeting with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Turnbull and Ghani signed a memorandum of understanding for the Afghanistan-Australia development partnership worth 320mn Australian dollars ($242mn) over four years to 2020.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Afghan President Mohamed Ashraf Ghani chat during their meeting at presidential palace in Jakarta, yesterday.