[Chairperson of BKSAP Fadli Zon welcomes the Foreign Affairs Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bisera Turkovic and the Bosnian Ambassador to Indonesia Mehmed Halilović at the Fadli Zon Library, Jakarta, Saturday (11/6/2022). Photo: Anne/nvl ]


Chairperson of the House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) Fadli Zon welcomed the delegation of the Foreign Affairs Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bisera Turkovic, and the Bosnian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mehmed Halilović, in Jakarta. The visit was part of the Foreign Affairs Minister’s agenda to strengthen relations and explore potential areas of cooperation with Indonesia.


"Foreign Minister Bisera’s visit was to strengthen Indonesia's relations with Bosnia. I think it’s quite established that our relationship with Yugoslavia go back a long way. We were both the founding nations of the non-aligned movement before the country was divided into Serbia, Bosnia, and several other countries," Zon said after receiving the delegation at the Fadli Zon Library in Jakarta, Saturday (11/6/2022).


As fellow founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, Mr. Zon pointed out how Indonesia and Bosnia and Herzegovina shared historical similarities and relations. One of them is represented by the largest mosque in Sarajevo, the Istiklal Mosque, also known as the Indonesian Mosque.


The Istiklal Mosque in Sarajevo was a gift from the government and the people of Indonesia to the Bosnian Muslims during the time when an ethnic war broke out following the dissolution of Yugoslavia. "The Indonesian people at the time built a mosque called the Istiklal Mosque, the same as the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta. It’s smaller in size, but it is an expression of Indonesia's solidarity and attachment to Bosnia," added Zon.


During the meeting, Mr. Zon and Foreign Minister Turkovic exchanged views on regional stability in Europe and potential areas of cooperation for the two countries to explore. The discussion was based on the currently low trade value between Indonesia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Both parties agreed to promote partnership in political, sociocultural, and economic sectors. Furthermore, Mr. Zon also encouraged the intensification of business-to-business, as well as people-to-people, contacts especially through cooperation in the hospitality industry, trade, and inter-parliamentary relations.


"And we also need more promotion on Indonesian tourism so we can have more tourists from Bosnia," he continued.


The former Vice Speaker of the House also emphasized that the bilateral relations between the two countries are based on strong shared values, one of which is promoting dialogue and support for multilateralism as a solution in addressing problems of common concern.


"In multilateral relations, Bosnia has lent its support to us, just as much as we support Bosnia. The same can also be said about our inter-parliamentary relations. And for that, we will continue to foster the good relations with them," concluded Zon.


Previously, Minister Turkovic had a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Friday (10/6/2022) to sign an MoU on political consultations between Indonesia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.


The MoU will serve as a solid foundation to further deepen the bilateral relations that go back more than three decades between Indonesia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. (ann/aha/agl)