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Jakarta Post

ASEAN remains Indonesia’s foreign policy priority: Minister

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 17, 2016   /  04:24 pm
ASEAN remains Indonesia’s foreign policy priority: Minister Leaders from ASEAN’s 10 member countries — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — pose at the opening event of the 2016 ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, on Sept. 6. (Presidential Press Bureau/File)

Indonesia has expressed its commitment to staying in ASEAN and contributing more to Southeast Asia’s growth and unity amid current regional challenges and concerns about Indonesia's focus on other international cooperation.

Brushing off concerns that Indonesia would focus more on the G20 cooperation with major economies, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto reiterated during his speech at the 2016 Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy that ASEAN had and would always be the major interest of Indonesia's foreign policy.

"Indonesia will always be with ASEAN through every rise and fall. ASEAN contribution to the world cannot be underestimated by anyone and the member states have also built deep trust with each other," Wiranto said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry director general for ASEAN cooperation Jose Tavares said ASEAN remained a priority in the country's foreign policy, although Indonesia also took part in global cooperation through various international forums.

"Indonesia will never leave ASEAN. The regional cooperation will keep continuing because [Southeast Asian countries] are our important neighbors," Jose said on the sidelines of the event.

He asserted that Indonesia would further strengthen its leadership within the regional body to ensure that all member states stood in unity to overcome regional challenges, as well as to stay relevant for people in the region. (rin)