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Indonesia’s New Foreign Policy - ‘Thousand friends- zero enemy’

Irfa Puspitasari is Research Intern at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • August 23, 2010

    As Indonesia celebrated its 65th independence day on August 17th, it is also trying to reorient its foreign policy goals to emerge as a responsible power in the Southeast Asian region. The two continuous terms of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have given a new direction to Indonesia’s foreign policy. Soekarno and Soeharto, the iconic leaders of Indonesia, had pursued contrasting approaches and power affiliations in every possible way. Soekarno was keen on emerging as the undisputed leader of NAM. Soeharto formatted his foreign policy by toeing the US line to a large extent. Today, the clear trends are that Indonesia’s foreign policy is a unique amalgamation of the two schools of thought and policy of adaptation to changing geopolitical and geostrategic compulsions. Indonesia being the world’s largest archipelago with the biggest Muslim population is again trying to gain the leadership position in the region through constructive and cooperative gestures and balanced bargaining between major powers.

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