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Jakarta Post

Jokowi, ASEAN’s first chief negotiator on Myanmar

Jokowi, ASEAN’s first chief negotiator on Myanmar President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (second left) and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (right) walk as they attend the ASEAN leaders' summit at the bloc's secretariat building in Jakarta on April 24, 2021. (Handout/Muchlis Jr/Indonesian Presidential Palace via REUTERS)
Kornelius Purba
Jakarta   ●   Mon, April 26, 2021

It took President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo almost seven years since he came to power in October 2014 to get directly involved in a major diplomatic endeavor as the leader of Indonesia, the largest member country and the de-facto leader of ASEAN.

Unlike his predecessors, Jokowi never addressed the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States; he only joined the event last year, which was held online. Jokowi attended the summits of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ASEAN-hosted East Asia Forum and the Group of 20, but never tried to steal the show. Next year, he will host the G20 summit.

Foreign Ministry officials have acknowledged the President’s tendency to prioritize the short- and medium-term economic impacts of any diplomatic measure. He shows no interest in complicated negotiations and fully entrusts the ma...

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