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Indonesia wants Australia to be part of ASEAN

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has showed his support for Australia to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ahead of a special summit in Sydney.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he told Fairfax Media in an interview published on Friday.

Jokowi said it would be better for “stability, economic stability, and also political stability. Sure, it will be better” for the region.

Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, responded to the interview by saying he looked “forward to discussing that with President Jokowi if he raises it with me”.

This Friday, the prime minister is opening a special leaders’ summit in Sydney at a business forum attended by the 10 Asean member country leaders.

Australia is not a formal member of Asean but maintains a role as a strategic partner and takes part in the biennial leaders’ summit first instituted in 2016.

The prime minister hopes this year’s meeting will help unlock new opportunities for trade and investment that will support jobs in Australia and across the region.

Jokowi arrives in Sydney on Friday and is expected to have dinner with the prime minister at his Sydney harbourside home in the evening.

The two countries hope to sign a free trade deal on the sidelines of the summit after failing to meet a deadline late last year, although negotiations are ongoing.

Source: The Guardian

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