French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu on Friday lauded the close ties between the two countries following an US$8 billion fighter jet deal signed earlier this year.
“There is a powerful strategic intimacy that is being born with Indonesia and France,” Lecornu told reporters after his meeting with Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto in Jakarta.
Indonesia placed an order for 42 of France’s Rafale fighter jets in an US$8.1 billion deal agreed to in February.
The two countries are also in talks over the purchase of two French Scorpene-class attack submarines.
Lecornu met with Subianto as Indonesia prepares to take over the ASEAN rotating presidency.
France has been accepted as an observer state in ADMM-Plus, ASEAN’s defense platform, Lecornu wrote on Twitter yesterday, joining countries including the US and China.
“This is recognition of our investment in regional security and stability,” Lecornu wrote.
France wants to bolster its ties in Southeast Asia “to be in a position to fight against escalation, to rearm and to be in a situation to have credible diplomacy,” Lecornu told reporters.
France also needed to remain engaged “politically” in the area, he said, adding that Paris wanted to play a multilateral role in the region.
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