By Mike Cherney

Australian and Indonesian officials held talks on a trade agreement Sunday even though Indonesian President Joko Widodo postponed a visit to Australia amid unrest at home.

Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo met with Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in Sydney and said the two sides would work toward completing negotiations on the accord by the end of 2017.

Mr. Ciobo said in a statement that the trade minister's visit at this time "reflects the importance of this agreement to both governments."

Mr. Widodo planned to begin a three-day visit to Australia on Sunday, but he postponed the visit after Muslims took to the streets of Jakarta on Friday to rally against the city's Christian governor.

Negotiations for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement were relaunched earlier this year. Mr. Ciobo said Sunday the accord would "open new markets and opportunities for Australian businesses, primary producers and service providers."

Write to Mike Cherney at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 06, 2016 01:46 ET (05:46 GMT)

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