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Indonesia: Iran’s Raisi meets Widodo in Jakarta, signs trade deal

May 23, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (L) and Indonesian president Joko Widodo (R) [@IRIMFA_EN/Twitter]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has met with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo as part of a two-day visit to Jakarta aimed at strengthening economic ties.

Leading a high-level delegation, Raisi was officially welcomed by Widido shortly after arriving today. The two presidents took part in a ceremony symbolising peace and friendship between the two countries by planting a sapling at the Merdeka Palace, after receiving a 21-gun salute, PressTV reported.

The pair later signed a preferential trade agreement (PTA), the second deal of its kind struck between Indonesia and a Middle Eastern country. The first agreement was signed in July of last year with the UAE.

Widodo, speaking after the signing ceremony, said he hoped that the agreement “would increase trade between Indonesia and Iran” but did not provide details.

Trade between Tehran and Jakarta dropped from $715.5 million to $141.6 million in 2019 after the US imposed sanctions on Iran.

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Speaking through a translator, Raisi said that “sanctions and threats will not stop us.”

“Partnerships and relationships with neighbouring countries and Islamic countries and countries with the same views are our priority,” he added.

Before leaving Jakarta later tomorrow, Raisi will also meet with Indonesia’s House Speaker Puan Maharani, religious figures and business people. He’ll also visit Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia, and give public lectures in an Islamic university.

Widodo’s last trip to Iran was in 2016 while the last official state visit from Iran was in 2015 when former President Hassan Rouhani attended the 50th commemoration of the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung.

According to Reuters, under the PTA, Iran will give Indonesia greater access to products like processed food and pharmaceuticals, textile, palm oil, coffee and tea, while Indonesia will lower tariffs for Iran’s oil and chemical products, metals and some dairy products.

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