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Indonesia Ambassador makes history as first to visit Cook Islands

Friday 13 May 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National


Indonesia Ambassador makes history as first to visit Cook Islands
Prime Minister Mark Brown with the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the Cook Islands, Fientje Marite Suebu on Wednesday. Photo: SUPPLIED/22051216

The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for the Cook Islands has made history as the first to visit the country.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Fientje Marite Suebu landed on Rarotonga for meetings with dignitaries.

Bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Cook Islands were only been initiated in July 2019.

Suebu explained the mandate given by President Joko Widodo is to further increase Indonesia’s presence as part of the Pacific Region and strengthen bilateral relations with the Cook Islands.

“Indonesia should be proud because according to Cook Islands officials, Indonesian workers have good reputation and known for their high work ethic, so that the people of the Cook Islands are very fond of them,” Suebu said in statement.

“As I landed in this beautiful island of Rarotonga, I know that we share so many wonderful things in common. The incredible landscapes, the warm and friendly people, wonderful cultures and more.

“We are indeed sisters and brothers. We are one big family of the Pacific.”

Suebu was received by the Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands, Sir Tom Masters on the presentation of a credential ceremony.  

Ambassador Suebu, who arrived in New Zealand at the end of January 2022, is the Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand accredited to Samoa, Tonga, Niue and Cook Islands.

During this historic visit, Suebu handed over a letter of credence from President Joko Widodo to the Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands, Sir Tom Masters.

The ambassador also held meetings with various high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Mark Brown, Minister of Tourism Patrick Arioka; Speaker of Parliament Tai Tura; as well as several other high-ranking officials.

The opening of bilateral relations between Cook Islands and Indonesia was carried out on the side lines of Indonesia's major event in the Pacific, the 2019 Pacific Expositions in New Zealand.

At that time, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi opened the official diplomatic relations together the former prime minister and foreign minister, Henry Puna through the signing of a joint communique.

Cook Islands also participated in the second Pacific Exposition held virtually in October 2021.

In addition, the ambassador is also entrusted with about 120 Indonesian citizens and diaspora living in the Cook Islands.

Most of them work in the tourism sector. The ambassador through the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington regularly provides consular services for Indonesian citizens in the Cook Islands.