Australia's new leader hopes to be best mates with Jokowi

Australia's new leader hopes to be best mates with Jokowi
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, talks to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, right, during a signing ceremony at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

BOGOR, Indonesia (AP) — Australia’s new prime minister says he wants to be best mates with his Indonesian counterpart and deepen the lagging economic relationship between the two countries.

Scott Morrison became Australia’s prime minister last week after factional warfare in the ruling Liberal Party ended Malcolm Turnbull’s short tenure as the country’s leader.

Morrison met Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Friday in his first trip overseas since becoming leader.

He said they would sign an economic agreement involving increased free trade by the end of the year. Morrison said he hoped his relationship with Jokowi would be as good as that enjoyed by his predecessor, Turnbull.

Indonesia and Australia are neighbors but their economic and trading relationship is not well developed.