Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Widodo Tells Abbott To Keep Lines of Communication Open

Joko Widodo

(Photo : REUTERS/Beawiharta )

Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to keep the lines of communication open when the two met Monday night during Widodo's inauguration as Indonesia's seventh president after the country's declaration of independence.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the brief meeting began awkwardly with both leaders smiling at each other in a room filled with reporters from different news agencies.

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Widodo told Abbott that he can talk to Indonesia's ambassador because if there are problems because he considers communication very important. Abbott replied and said he was only following in the footsteps of John Howard, who attended the inauguration of former Indonesian leader, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

In November, Australian and Indonesian relationship became tensed after Abbott refused to respond to Jakarta's distress regarding espionage issues

Yesterday, however, the Australian prime minister praised Widodo for being inspirational and charismatic.

Abbott said Indonesia is being swept by a "wave of confidence and renewal" and added that he would like Australia to take part in the country's "renewal and re-invigoration."

Widodo, 53, more popularly known as Jokowi, later said that the Australian prime minister has invited him to the G20 summit in November that will be held in Brisbane. Widodo has yet to confirm if he will be able to attend.

Meanwhile, during Widodo's first speech as president, he called on the Indonesian populace to work together and be united.

"Unity and working hard is something that is very important for us and we will never be able to become one if we keep being divided."

The Indonesian president said that it is time to turn the country into one that is rich in culture that has both
"economic and political independence."

Widodo also vowed that he and his cabinet members will work hard to ensure that Indonesian and the rest of the world, will "feel the Indonesian government's service."

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