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|Date: 24 July 2009 - Author: The Jakarta Post|
|Indonesia finally agrees to settle a new partnership agreement with the EU following the latter’s decision to lift air restriction on the country’s major airlines.|
|EU member countries have endorsed the European Commission’s Air Safety Committee recommendation on the lifting of air restriction on Indonesia’s national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, and three private airlines: Mandala Air, Premiair and Air Fast.|
A two day meeting of senior officials between both sides, the 8th so far, in Yogyakarta, concluded Tuesday, witnessing a conclusion of negotiations on a new framework agreement between the two institutions called the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
The Indonesia delegation was headed by Foreign Ministry’s director general for Europe and America Retno L. P. Marsudi while the European delegation was led by the European Commission’s director for Asia James Moran.
A provision in the final draft of the PCA said both sides agreed to develop further civil aviation agreement that would ensure closer coordination in this area in the future.
An “Aid-for-trade” support was identified in the draft, where a Euro 15 million program has started this year and a further Euro 15 million is planned for 2010.
An official signature ceremony is scheduled to take place later this year between the Indonesian foreign minister, the Swedish foreign minister, as well as the commissioner for external relations.
“This comprehensive partnership agreement will allow a more concerted and measured effort in engaging in bilateral relation with the European Union. The tenure of this agreement is in five years, but an extension is available,” Retno said. She added Indonesia is pursuing similar cooperation with the US.
The PCA is a major step to enhance relations between Indonesia and the EU through a closer and regular dialogue to reinforce existing bilateral areas of cooperation, such as the Euro 20 billion annual trade relationships and cooperation in education, research, environment, energy, tourism and transport.
Indonesia and EU agreed to work on common positions for the Copenhagen Summit on climate change. Both will pursue cooperation in the forestry and palm oil sectors and boost financial cooperation on climate change measures in Indonesia.
The meeting also confirmed the need for an extension of such a program for the 2011-2013 period as well as on continued support and cooperation on education, climate change and governance. (The Jakarta Post)