Singapore PM Lee and Indonesia President Jokowi to meet in Bintan for first Leaders' Retreat since 2019


PM Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the Leaders’ Retreat held at the Istana in October 2019. They will meet in Bintan on Jan 25, 2022. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (The Straits Times/ANN): Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will visit Bintan on Tuesday (Jan 25) to attend the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

At their meeting, the two leaders will review the progress made on bilateral cooperation since the last Leaders' Retreat in Singapore in 2019, and discuss ways to expand collaboration in key areas of priority for both countries, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement on Monday (Jan 24).

PM Lee and President Widodo will also witness the signing and exchange of a set of three agreements negotiated on the basis of a framework for discussions the two countries agreed on following the last Leaders' Retreat.

They are an agreement to realign the boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Singapore FIR; a treaty for the extradition of fugitives; and a joint statement between the two countries' defence ministers on the 2007 Defence Cooperation Agreement and the Military Training Area Implementing Arrangement.

The two leaders will witness the exchange of letters to bring the above agreements into force simultaneously, said the PMO.

They will also endorse of several memorandums of understanding signed ahead of the retreat, including in financial and economic cooperation, green and circular economy development, energy cooperation, and human capital development.

The framework that the countries agreed to for discussing longstanding bilateral issues acknowledges that the core interests and rights of both countries must be recognised and respected, and for agreements to be reached that are durable and for the long haul, Mr Lee said in 2019.

While Lee and Widodo have not had their annual retreat since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, high-level exchanges between the leaders have continued.

The two leaders met last October on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Rome, and last April, when Mr Lee visited Jakarta for the Asean Leaders' Meeting.

Prime Minister Lee will be accompanied on his visit by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, Transport Minister S. Iswaran, and Manpower Minister and Second Trade and Industry Minister Tan See Leng. - The Straits Times/ANN

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