1) Vanuatu to open embassy in Jakarta
Vanuatu's foreign minister Sato Kilman has reportedly indicated that his government is to open an embassy in Indonesia's capital.
Mr Kilman confirmed this to local media while in Jakarta for this week's Asia-Africa Conference, a gathering of 77 countries for discussions on development and co-operation programmes between developing countries.
He said that the opening of an embassy would happen as soon as possible and strengthen co-operation between the two countries.
Due to Vanuatu's long-held support for West Papuan independence, its government relations with Indonesia were previously remote.
Mr Kilman was prime minister of Vanuatu in 2012 when the government controversially forged an initial co-operation agreement with Jakarta, although subsequent configurations of government stepped back from closer links.
However, following last month's devastation in Vanuatu from Cyclone Pam, Mr Kilman welcomed Indonesia's contribution of 2 million US dollars in relief.
He denied that the assistance would have any bearing on Vanuatu support for the West Papuan bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group at which Indonesia has observer status.
Meanwhile, after meeting with Mr Kilman in Jakarta, Indonesia's foreign minister Retno Marsudi has placed the closer links with Vanuatu as part of Jakarta's overall outreach to Melanesian states.
She says Indonesia's Melanesian population is greater than the population of other Melanesian countries combined, making her country an integral part of Melanesia.
To promote its Melanesian links, Ms Marsudi said that Indonesia plans to host a major Melanesian culture and arts event in October
2) Fiji and Vanuatu in the mix at Jakarta summit
Updated at 2:40 pm today
Fiji and Vanuatu are among countries with representatives attending this week's Asia Africa Conference in Jakarta as observers.
The conference is a gathering of 77 developing countries for discussions on development and co-operation programmes.
For both island countries, attendance has meant forging closer ties to Indonesia's government.
On the sidelines of the summit, Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Sato Kilman met his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi, and discussed his government's plan to open an embassy in Jakarta.
Ms Marsudi also met with Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola for talks about extending free visa requirements for diplomatic passport holders of both nations.
The Shanghai Daily reports Marsudi saying discussion included looking at ways to enhance bilateral ties in economic areas and peacekeeping missions.
There are also plans to hold a bilateral ministerial meeting in Fiji in August.