23 Feb 2024

Indonesia Vice President to visit New Zealand - Peters

11:41 am on 23 February 2024
Dr Ma'ruf Amin, Vice President of Indonesia, pictured in 2018.

Dr Ma'ruf Amin, Vice President of Indonesia, pictured in 2018. Photo: Kelvin Chng / ST / SPH Media via AFP

Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says Indonesia's Vice President Ma'ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week.

Amin is expected to visit Auckland and Wellington, to meet with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon as well as Peters.

He is the first Indonesian leader to visit New Zealand in six years.

In a statement, Peters said the visit would be an opportunity to discuss strengthening New Zealand's relationship with the growing economy, and to discuss Phillip Mehrtens, the New Zealand pilot held hostage in Papua.

"As the world's fourth-largest country, and by 2030 projected to be one of the world's ten largest economies, there is further room for our bilateral trade to grow," the statement said.

"Indonesia is the largest country and economy in South East Asia and a key partner for New Zealand in the Indo-Pacific. Annual two-way trade with Indonesia is worth almost $3.3 billion and halal exports comprise nearly half of that."

Peters said they would also have the chance to discuss their continued concern for Mehrtens, who was taken hostage more than a year ago in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities.

He is being held by the West Papua Liberation Army, a group of freedom fighters. A video surfaced in November showing Mehrtens surrounded by armed men.

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