The Jakarta Post
Indonesia should further assert its leadership in ASEAN to maintain unity amid the internal challenges that potentially threaten the regional body's vision of forming an integrated community, former foreign minister Dino Patti Djalal says.
According to Dino, some ASEAN member states are currently going through political changes, including the Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand, and their internal situations have created some distractions that affect cooperation in the regional body.
As a country that had been playing a central role in the region, Indonesia should therefore be able to encourage ASEAN member states to get re-energized and to reaffirm their goals to ensure that the regional body moves in the right direction, Dino said.
"ASEAN centrality needs to be earned and thus it is important for us to take the lead [...] Indonesia is the natural leader of ASEAN and other member states seem to regard us as so," Dino told journalists in Saturday.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 2016 Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy in Jakarta, Dino also said ASEAN should further unify and discuss a suitable joint strategy to make the regional body able to face global challenges in the years ahead. (evi)
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