JAKARTA - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi encouraged Finland to recognize the Palestinian State when they met President Alexander Stubb and his counterpart Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen on Thursday, with the Nordic country previously having a strong commitment to the two-state solution.

During an honorary visit to President Stubb, Foreign Minister Retno focused on discussing international issues, especially conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine, with discussions of peace efforts in the Gaza Strip being carried out at length.

He explained, both Indonesia and Finland have the same position regarding the immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the implementation of the UN Resolution of 2735 can be implemented immediately.

"We hope that all countries can use their influence so that the parties in conflict have a political desire to implement the resolution," said Foreign Minister Retno in a statement from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Friday, June 14.

Foreign Minister Retno further revealed that the President of Finland reaffirmed his support for the two-state solution to the conflict in Palestine.

"Finland conveys the issue of this confession is not an 'if' question but a 'when'. Which means, that this confession issue will definitely be carried out but it is just a matter of time," said Foreign Minister Retno.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Retno continued, she told the President of Finland that Indonesia was closely monitoring Finland's position, including the statement by the President of Finland that recognition of Palestine would be carried out at some point in the future.

"This is where I convey that it will be better for recognition to be carried out in the near future, because recognition of Palestine is a big contribution to the creation of peace and will also contribute to the implementation of the two-state solution," he explained, adding he was also grateful for Finland's humanitarian assistance for Palestine that entered through UNRWA.

Foreign Minister Retno's raising support for the Palestinian State cannot be separated from the mandate of the OIC leaders received by Indonesia as a member of the OIC Contact Group on Palestine.

When meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, Foreign Minister Retno discussed the Palestinian issue at length, expecting Finland to recognize the Palestinian State soon to support the creation of a two-state solution.

"In the meeting I expressed my appreciation for Finland's support for humanitarian aid, including financial support for UNRWA," said Foreign Minister Retno, who met Foreign Minister Valtonen before meeting with President Stubb.

"We both also agreed to encourage the implementation of the UN DK Resolution 2735 regarding the proposal for three phases of weapons," he said.

Another global issue discussed by the two Foreign Ministers was conflict in Ukraine. On that occasion, Foreign Minister Retno emphasized Indonesia's consistent position of respecting international law, including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, as well as respect for the UN Charter.

Regarding bilateral relations, the two Foreign Ministers discussed trade and investment potential. Foreign Minister Retno said, with Finland being one of Indonesia's main trading partners in the Nordic Region, the trade value of the two countries continued to increase and exceeded the figure before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year its value reached 713 million US dollars, up 22 percent from the figure in 2019. And this year, in the first quarter it rose 40 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.

"We agreed to continue exploring the existing potentials to encourage increased trade. We also agreed to encourage greater investment from Finland in Indonesia, including in the green energy sector and smart cities," explained Foreign Minister Retno.

Another thing discussed is educational cooperation. Together with the Finnish Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister Retno welcomed the holding of the '1st Indonesia-Finland Joint Working Group on Higher Education and Teacher Capacity Development' last year.

The next issue discussed is energy cooperation, where Finland has a strong capacity in the field of green and renewable energy.

In addition, Foreign Minister Retno and Foreign Minister Valtonen also discussed smart cities cooperation. Currently, there is an MoU between the IKN Authority and the Finnish Ministry of Economics.

"I hope that the MoU can open the door for further cooperation in IKN development, especially Finnish investment in IKN," said Foreign Minister Retno.

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