Jakarta — French President Francois Hollande praised the Indonesian government during his first visit to the country on Wednesday (29/03) for its ability to maintain a policy of tolerance amid great religious and ethnic diversities. The visit by Hollande, who was touring Southeast Asia this week, was the first by a French president to the world’s largest Muslim-majority in three decades. “Indonesia has become an example of tolerant diversity, an inspiration to us,” Hollande said during a press conference at the State Palace in Jakarta. Hollande said France has a different but similar model that embraces the principles of freedom and tolerance. The concept of Islam that flourishes in Indonesia embraces a way of living together, Hollande said, something that France could do well to emulate. France and Indonesia must not discriminate against any religion, while at the same time keep combating terrorism, he added. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said Indonesia and France are working closely to find solutions for a wide range of international issues, including peacekeeping, combating extremism and terrorism, as well as Palestinian independence. “We have agreed to continue efforts to create peace for the Palestinians and the Israelis through a two-state solution,” Jokowi said. He added that Indonesia and France have also formed partnerships in several important sectors, including maritime, creative economy, defense, tourism and sustainable urban development. The French delegation brought US$2 billion to Indonesia to invest in energy, infrastructure and retail sectors. Jakarta was Hollande’s last stop in his Southeast Asian tour, after visiting Malaysia and Singapore earlier this week. The last visit made by a French head of state to Indonesia was made by French President Francois Mitterand in 1986.