Australia is going to host the third Australia-Indonesia Foreign and Defence Ministers 2+2 Dialogue in Sydney on Monday, Dec. 21.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has issued a statement as she looks forward to welcoming the Minister for Defence, General (retired) Ryamizard Ryacudu, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ibu Retno Marsudi, for discussions regarding strengthening the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia.

According to Bishop’s statement, Indonesia is Australia’s 11th largest export market and 12th largest trading partner. An Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is supposed to make the trade and investment relation between the countries even stronger.

Bishop further said in the statement that a constructive partnership with Indonesia is vital to Australia’s “economic, strategic and security interests.” “We are working together to counter violent extremism and address cyber and maritime security issues,” the media release said. “We co-chair the regional Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.”

According to Bishop, the discussions between the national leaders will also focus on strengthening the “longstanding cooperation through regional and global fora, including the G20, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus and the Indian Ocean Rim Association, to promote global and regional growth and stability.”

A number of ministerial visits has taken place from both ends in recent months, which shows an active bilateral engagement between Indonesia and Australia. There was, however, tension between the two countries at the beginning of 2015 when Indonesia imposed death sentence on two Australian drug convicts in the Asian country. Despite Australia’s repeated requests, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in due course.

Australian Federal Police, which used to tip off its Indonesia counterpart about drug trafficking, wants to operate in a different manner after the Bali Nine executions.

“In recent days and weeks we have had individuals that we are aware of who are travelling offshore as drug couriers,” AAP quoted AFP assistant commissioner Scott Lee as saying in a parliamentary inquiry in Canberra on Friday. “We have taken active decisions not to communicate that information,” he added.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.