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Goff to Indonesia/Malaysia March 3-8

3 March 2002

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff visits Indonesia and Malaysia over the coming week.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia attended last week’s regional conference in Bali on people smuggling along with New Zealand.

“The visit will provide an opportunity to further address with those countries the issues of people smuggling and related transnational organised crime.

“I will also be seeking to develop a closer working relationship to look at preventing illegal migrants from departing from Indonesia and Malaysia for New Zealand.

“In Indonesia, I will be discussing the efforts President Megawati’s government is making to address Indonesia’s economic, social and internal security challenges.

“I look forward to continuing the very useful dialogue on reform and human rights issues begun with Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, when he visited New Zealand late last year.

“In Malaysia I will meet the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, as well as my counterpart and other key Malaysian contacts. Human rights issues will be discussed during the visit

“Malaysia is a significant player on the international scene and one of our long standing regional partners. Our bilateral relations can usefully be strengthened in several areas, notably in the economic and trade field, but also in education, where we have excellent links.

“Together Indonesia and Malaysia represent 235 million people; two-way trade is over $2.6 billion a year; and their voices carry a great deal of weight in Southeast Asia,” Mr Goff said.

Ends

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