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French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu met with Indonesian Defence Minister in Jakarta on 25 November. Minister spoke of the close ties that have been established between the two countries following the $8 billion fighter jet deal signed earlier this year.

As it is known, Indo Defence Expo & Forum fair was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 2-5 November. The fair, which also included leading Turkish companies, hosted the exhibition of products and important collaborations. After the fair, the French Minister of Defence drew attention to its close relations with Indonesia.

“A strong strategic affinity is emerging between Indonesia and France” Lecornu told AFP. Indonesia placed an order for 42 French Rafale fighter jets in a deal worth $8.1 billion last February. The two countries are also negotiating the purchase of two French Scorpene-class submarines.

Lecornu met with Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto as Indonesia prepares to take over the rotating presidency of the regional bloc Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In his social media post on 26 November, Lecornu said that France was accepted as an observer state to ASEAN’s defence platform, ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). “This is a recognition of our investment in regional security and stability,” said Lecornu.

“We want to be in a position to fight escalation, re-arm and have credible diplomacy” Lecornu told AFP, noting that France wants to further strengthen its ties in Southeast Asia. Adding that France should continue to be politically engaged in the region, Lecornu emphasized that Paris wants to play a multilateral role in the region.

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