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PM to travel to Indonesia for key talks

Anthony Albanese
Crossbenchers won't be left "totally on their own", Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says. Photo: AAP
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Anthony Albanese will travel to Indonesia this weekend for talks with President Joko Widodo in one of his first overseas trips since taking office.

The new prime minister will lead an Australian delegation for talks in Jakarta including Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Trade Minister Don Farrell, Industry Minister Ed Husic and Darwin-based MP Luke Gosling.

There will also be a contingent of Australian business leaders who will join the prime minister on the trip.

Mr Albanese said talks with Indonesia’s president would be crucial.

“Indonesia is one our closest neighbours, which is why I committed to visiting as soon as possible,” he said.

“Our two countries have a long history of cooperation and friendship, and my government will work with Indonesia to deepen this.”

It will be Mr Albanese’s second overseas trip since becoming prime minister late last month.

On the day he was sworn in as prime minister, he travelled to Tokyo to take part in the Quad leaders’ summit with US President Joe Biden, Japan’s Fumio Kishida and India’s Narendra Modi.

Mr Albanese said during the election campaign Indonesia would be one of his first ports of call should he win office.

The three-day visit to Indonesia will see him hold talks with President Widodo, while also meeting with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

Talks with President Widodo are expected to centre on bilateral trade, climate and energy, along with regional and global affairs.

“We partner together closely on issues of trade, development, education and regional security,” Mr Albanese said.

“During my visit, I look forward to building our ties further, including to revitalise our trade relationship and promote climate, infrastructure and energy cooperation.”

Also on the agenda will be talks on the Indonesia-Australia comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Mr Albanese will take forward Australia’s proposal for a $200 million climate and infrastructure fund with Indonesia.

Senator Wong said Australia was serious about its engagement with Southeast Asia.

“We share a fundamental interest in promoting a more prosperous, stable and secure region, where sovereignty is respected,” she said.

“Australia’s partnership with Indonesia has never been more consequential to this objective.”

– AAP