Zarif to meet Indonesian president, foreign minister


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to meet with the Indonesian president and foreign minister.

Zarif is set to have separate meetings with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa in Jakarta on Thursday.

Discussing regional and international issues with the Indonesian officials are on Zarif’s agenda during his visit to the Southeast Asian country.

Zarif arrived in the Indonesian capital late on Wednesday after a two-day visit to Japan.

During his visit to Tokyo, the Iranian foreign minister sat down for talks with senior Japanese officials including Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Zarif’s visit to Japan came at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart and was aimed at expanding bilateral ties between Tehran and Tokyo.

The Iranian official is also scheduled to meet with Indonesian economic and religious figures during his two-day visit to Jakarta.

According to official figures from Indonesia’s Trade Ministry, Iran-Indonesia trade exchanges totaled USD 1.26 billion in 2012, five times higher than in 2002.

As part of the growing Tehran-Jakarta ties, Iranian oil firm Nakhle Barani Pardis and Indonesia’s PT Kreasindo on February 11 signed a three-billion-dollar memorandum of understanding for the construction of a refinery in Indonesia.

Nakhle Barani Pardis has reportedly accepted to finance 30 percent of the refinery which is planned to be built at Banten or another location in West Java.

The project is set to start next year and will take an estimated three years to complete.

In January, Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry held talks with Indonesian officials over the revival of the Southeast Asian country’s depleted oil wells.

During a visit to Tehran, a group of Indonesian MPs called for the institute to assess the viability of reviving more than 1,000 depleted oil wells in the country.

Indonesia was a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but dropped out of the OPEC in 2009 after a steady decline in its production due to deficient infrastructure and paucity of investment.

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