12 Mar 2019

Indonesia to open relations with Niue, Cook Islands

2:08 pm on 12 March 2019

Indonesia is looking to open up diplomatic engagement with Niue and the Cook Islands.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks to journalists at a press conference during the Democracy Forum VIII in Nusa Dua in 2015.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. Photo: AFP

The move was given the backing of Indonesia's House of Representatives on Monday, ahead of an expected agreement.

The Tempo newspaper reported Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, saying there are many Indonesian workers in Niue and the Cook Islands.

She added that the two countries don't support separatism in Papua, where Indonesia faces an influential independence movement backed by several Pacific nations.

Ms Marsudi said Cook Islands had requested a cooperative relationship with Indonesia in 2012 and again in 2013, while Niue had made a similar move in 2017.

Earlier this year, Niue's government brought in six Indonesian workers to address a labour shortage on the island.