SBY like a brother, Ahmadinejad says

Riyadi Suparno ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Tehran   |  Wed, 03/12/2008 1:35 AM  |  Headlines


Iran has praised Indonesia for rejecting a United Nations Security Council sanction against the Mideast country and Ahmadinejad has called Yudhoyono his brother in international peace efforts.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is currently in Tehran as part of a four-country visit including the Middle East and South Africa.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, “Mr Yudhoyono and I are two brothers, who will take actions to create international peace and bring benefits to our two countries”.

Ahmadinejad thanked Yudhoyono for his position during the UNSC vote.

Yudhoyono moved against the call to put further sanctions against Iran, while 14 UNSC member countries voted in favor of the resolution.

Ahmadinejad hailed Indonesia’s decision as a “very fair stance, based on the principle of law”.

“This stance, God willing, will become an inspiration to create justice at the UNSC, because currently the structure of the UNSC cannot ensure international peace,” Ahmadinejad said.

“This stance will also enhance bilateral ties between the two countries.”

Despite thanks and praise from Ahmadinejad, Indonesia stands alone at the Council, while countries including Russia and China, long supporters of Iran, supported the sanction-heavy resolution.

Yudhoyono, who is on a two-day state visit to Iran, said implementing further sanctions was inappropriate because Iran had cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Yudhoyono said the IAEA had confirmed Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful in its nature.

“Indonesia is of the opinion that the cooperation between Iran and IAEA must be continued, and this issue should not be brought to the political arena.

“Indonesia will always support nuclear development for peaceful purposes,” he said.

The two leaders discussed other international issues, especially those related to Muslim populations including Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Indonesia and Iran share the same vision about finding a fair solution for those suffering nations,” Yudhoyono said.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOU) between representatives of governments and businesses from both countries.

MOUs singed included a cooperation on agriculture and education and one between the Iran Central Chamber of Cooperatives and the Indonesian Cooperative Council.

“Iran and Indonesia are both big countries in terms of population, Iran with over 70 million people and Indonesia with 230 million people,” Yudhoyono said.

“In that sense, the development of small and medium enterprises as well as cooperatives is important for both of us, and therefore, we need to cooperate on these areas.”

Also signed Tuesday were agreements between commerce chambers in Iran and Indonesia, as well as a shareholder agreement between Pertamina and National Iranian Oil Refining & Distribution Co and Petrofield Refinery Company of Malaysia to build a US$6 billion refinery plant in Banten, Indonesia.

And the two countries committed to improve further economic relations, including trade.

Trade between the two countries has seen Indonesia enjoy surpluses during the past five years.

According to data at Iranian customs, total trade in the 2004/2005 fiscal year reached US$323 million, with Indonesia’s surplus at US$53 million.

Indonesia’s exports to Iran include palm oil, paper, textile and textile products, wood and rubber.

Indonesia’s imports from Iran include aluminum, steel, liquefied petroleum gas, ethylene, carpet, handicraft and nuts.

President Yudhoyono and his entourage will fly next to Dakar, Senegal, on Wednesday, to attend the 11th Organization of Islamic Conference summit.


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