UK Mideast minister: Israel’s actions leaving its allies ‘pretty challenged’

UK Mideast minister: Israel’s actions leaving its allies ‘pretty challenged’
UK Mideast minister: Israel’s actions leaving its allies ‘pretty challenged’

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JAKARTA: Indonesia’s President-Elect Prabowo Subianto wants to boost defense ties with the UAE, his office said on Tuesday, as he made the first official trip to Abu Dhabi since winning the general vote.

Indonesia-UAE relations grew under incumbent Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who in 2021 secured an over $46 billion investment commitment from the Gulf state. A year later, the two countries signed a free trade deal, which came into force last September.

Subianto, a former special forces commander and Indonesia’s current defense minister, is set to succeed Widodo and take office in October following his landslide victory in the presidential election in February.

On Monday, he was in Abu Dhabi to receive the UAE’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Zayed, in recognition of his efforts in enhancing bilateral ties.

“I hope Indonesia-UAE relations will continue to develop and grow in accordance with the ambitions of the two countries in strengthening cooperation across various fields, including in defense,” Subianto said in a statement after meeting UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

During Subianto’s time in office as minister, Indonesia and the UAE agreed to strengthen defense ties with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2020, followed by a protocol agreement on the development of their defense industries in 2022.

Subianto’s visit to the UAE can be seen as a strategic move ahead of his presidency.

“As we get closer to his inauguration, Prabowo has gained a boost in confidence to directly meet with MBZ and discuss strategic issues at the bilateral, regional and global level,” said Teuku Rezasyah, an international relations expert from Padjadjaran University in West Java.

“It’s only natural that Prabowo is visiting Abu Dhabi because it’s one of the world’s biggest sources of foreign investments … Certainly, Prabowo wants to seriously guarantee that investments from Abu Dhabi will be very strategic in the development of Indonesia.”

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