Australia, Indonesia ministers meet for the first time since executions/ Kerry meets Russia's Lavrov in Malaysia

Aug 10, 2015 Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said that her country’s relationship with Indonesia will go “from strength to strength” after a meeting with her Indonesian counterpart for the first time since Indonesia executed two Australian drug traffickers.

She described the conversation with Retno Marsudi as “very candid” and said she was determined to ensure their relationship was strong at all times. The heartwarming statement was despite previous tense moments that included Indonesia’s decision to proceed with the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran three months ago.

The Australians were among eight people executed by firing squad in the Indonesian prison island of Cilacap, despite an international outcry.

The pair entered into a brief bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Regional Forum in Malaysia.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the two countries were committed to improved relations.

“Both of us agreed to move together in strengthening the bilateral relation. We discussed how to proceed in the future. We start with the business, B2B, business-to-business, but we also discussed about the people-to-people contact through the Indonesian Australian dialogue,” Marsudi said.

Australian Foreign Minister affirmed that Australia and Indonesia will continue to work together in areas of security and law enforcement.

“With co-operation in the areas of security, intelligence, defense and law enforcement, this relationship will go from strength to strength,” Bishop said.

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