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Indonesia to send more aid to Pacific nations in diplomatic push

Dian Septiari The Jakarta Post  Thu, December 17, 2020

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attends a Joint Commission Meeting with New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters virtually on July 2(Twitter/@Menlu_RI)

JAKARTA – Indonesia has signed agreements with the governments of the Solomon Islands and Fiji to provide the nations with humanitarian assistance and help them respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged their tourism-reliant economies, already threatened by climate change.

The assistance is the latest in Indonesia’s ongoing diplomatic forays into the Pacific, which seek to paint the country as a benevolent neighbor with close cultural ties to the region, in the midst of simmering tensions in Papua that Pacific nations have previously voiced concern about.

The documents were signed on Wednesday and promised pandemic relief for the Solomon Islands and Fiji, as well as assistance to Fiji for the renovation of the Queen Victoria School, which was one of the hundreds of schools in the country that was damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in February 2016.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post, Indonesia Thu, December 17, 2020

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