The Jakarta Post
As president-elect Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo prepares himself for the leap onto the international stage, on Tuesday members of his transition team met with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to discuss foreign affairs issues on the horizon.
Marty, himself touted as a possible foreign minister in the new Cabinet, said that he had briefed the team on the diplomatic issues Jokowi would have to address in the early weeks of his presidency following his inauguration on Oct. 20.
The first major international event Jokowi will attend as president will be the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, China, which will take place in early November.
Within days after the APEC summit, Jokowi will travel to Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to attend the 24th ASEAN Summit. The 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) is also slated to take place in Nay Pyi Taw in November.
Jokowi's next major diplomatic event will be the 2014 G20 Leaders' Summit scheduled for Nov. 15 and 16 in Brisbane, Australia.
'President-elect Jokowi will attend a series of international events in three different cities beginning on his 10th day in office,' Marty said. 'We informed the transition team not only about the details of the events' programs, but also about the priorities Indonesia had so far chosen to promote in the events.'
Marty, however, said he would understand if Jokowi chose to set his own priorities.
He added that the foreign policy initiatives so far promoted by Indonesia on the international stage could be maintained, if not improved by Jokowi's administration.
'For example, Indonesia promoted the concept of connectivity between APEC economies during its chairmanship last year. The concept included the promotion of maritime cooperation, what was called the 'blue economy'. I think this concept is relevant to the priorities set by Jokowi,' Marty said.
Head of the transition team, Rini Soemarno, said that Marty had shared valuable information with the team.
'Such important international events require extensive preparation in order to succeed, but Jokowi will only have 10 days in office before attending the summits,' she said. 'Therefore, what we did today was good preparation.
One of the team's deputies, Hasto Kristiyanto, said that diplomacy under Jokowi would differ from what Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had practiced in the past 10 years, especially given Jokowi's focus on strengthening Indonesia's position as the world's major 'maritime axis'.
'But the style will not drastically change Indonesia's foreign policies. Indonesia will maintain the free-and-active principle,' Hasto said. 'When it comes to the promotion of world peace, I think Jokowi shares the policies that have been
carried out by the current government.'
Andi Widjajanto, another deputy, said that Jokowi and the team had also been focusing on a series of meetings on the sidelines of the summit in Nay Pyi Taw, particularly the ASEAN-South Korea Summit.
Other international events that Jokowi is slated to attend are the G-15 Summit and the D-8 Summit.
G-15 is a group of developing countries spanning the globe, while the D-8, or Developing 8, is a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations.
Also on Tuesday, the transition team met with National Resilience Institution (Lemhannas) Governor Budi Susilo Soepandji to discuss the future of the institution.
In the meeting, the transition team said that the Jokowi administration would strengthen Lemhannas by improving the institution's lawmaker-training program that many elected representatives undergo prior to assuming their seats in the House of Representatives.
'As you all know, hundreds of elected legislative members go into training with Lemhannas. Therefore, pak Andi wants to give constructive input regarding our curriculum, which will be discussed again in the future,' Budi told reporters after the meeting