A democratic Indonesia can play a significant role in strengthening moderate Islam, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee said after talks with his Indonesian counterpart on Wednesday.
Hungary prizes this potential, Zsolt Németh told a joint press conference.
Indonesia is an increasingly important partner for Hungary, with development schemes receiving much attention in bilateral relations, he said, highlighting a project carried out by the Budapest waterworks which involves Hungarian experts building water treatment facilities at more than fifty locations in Indonesia. He also noted a fruitful student exchange scheme.
Indonesia is paying more and more attention to the European Union and other regions in the world, and it sees in Hungary an opportunity to expand relations. Hungary is pleased to fulfil this role, which also fits in its “eastern opening” diplomacy, he said.
Indonesia is a democratic country and the largest Muslim state in the world, Németh noted.
Some of the most important issues in the world will be connected to the future of Islam in the next few decades, including migration and terrorism, he said. With its potential to strengthen moderate Islam, Indonesia will be a highlighted partner for the West, he said.
Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, head of Indonesia’s foreign affairs committee, said that
education and the water treatment scheme were among the most important topics at the talks.
Indonesia has a population of over 260 million people, the majority Muslim, living on 16,000 islands but the country is also home to other religions and they all live in peace with each other, he said. Tolerance holds Indonesia together, strengthens it and makes it into one nation, he added.
Indonesia’s ambassador in Budapest Wening Esthyprobo expressed hope that relations between the two countries would continue to develop.