Foreign relations of Indonesia

Foreign relations of Indonesia

Since independence, Indonesian foreign relations have adhered to a "free and active" foreign policy, seeking to play a role in regional affairs commensurate with its size and location but avoiding involvement in conflicts among major powers. Indonesian foreign policy under the "New Order" government of President Suharto moved away from the stridently anti-Western, anti-American posturing that characterized the latter part of the Sukarno era. Following Suharto's ouster in 1998, Indonesia's government has preserved the broad outlines of Suharto's independent, moderate foreign policy. Preoccupation with domestic problems has not prevented successive presidents from traveling abroad and Indonesia's participation in many international fora. The traumatic separation of East Timor from Indonesia after an August 1999 East Timor referendum, and subsequent events in East and West Timor, strained Indonesia's relations with the international community.

ignificant international memberships

A cornerstone of Indonesia's contemporary foreign policy is its participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which it was a founding member in 1967 with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Since then, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia also have joined ASEAN. While organized to promote common economic, social, and cultural goals, ASEAN acquired a security dimension after Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in 1979; this aspect of ASEAN expanded with the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum in 1994, which comprises 22 countries, including the U.S. Indonesia's continued domestic troubles have distracted it from ASEAN matters and consequently lessened its influence within the organization.

Indonesia also was one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and has taken moderate positions in its councils. As NAM Chairman in 1992-95, it led NAM positions away from the rhetoric of North-South confrontation, advocating instead the broadening of North-South cooperation in the area of development. Indonesia continues to be a prominent, and generally helpful, leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, and is a member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). It carefully considers the interests of Islamic solidarity in its foreign policy decisions but generally has been an influence for moderation in the OIC. President Wahid has pursued better relations with Israel, and in August 2000 he met with former Israeli Prime Minister Peres. However, as of January 2006, there's no formal diplomacy link between Indonesia and Israel. As such, Indonesia, alongside its Malaysian neighbor, conducts its foreign relations with Israel through Singapore [ [ AsiaMedia :: INDONESIA: Israel starts website in Indonesian ] ] .

After 1966, Indonesia welcomed and maintained close relations with the donor community, particularly the United States, western Europe, Australia, and Japan, through the Intergovernmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI) and its successor, the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI), which have provided substantial foreign economic assistance. Problems in Timor and Indonesia's reluctance to implement economic reform, have complicated Indonesia's relationship with donors.

Indonesia has been a strong supporter of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Largely through the efforts of President Suharto at the 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC members agreed to implement free trade in the region by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.

Disputes - international

Indonesia is at the centre of numerous investigations into human rights abuses and is widely suspected of supporting and even encouraging militia presences in those provinces with a large independence movement; namely, West Papua [ [] ; [ BBC] ] , Aceh [ [ Human Rights Watch] ] and, in the past, East Timor [ [] ; [] ; [ SBS Australia] ] . The many islands are also the source for many pirate groups that regularly attack ships in the Strait of Malacca in the north [ [ BBC] ] , and illegal fishing crews known for penetrating Australian and Filipino waters. [ [] ; [] ] Indonesia's continuation of capital punishment, and the often corrupt judiciary and military has also led to political altercations with several human rights groups. [ [ Amnesty International] ; [ Human Rights Watch] ; [] .] Indonesia was recently at odds with Australia regarding the granting of asylum to 42 West Papuans, however a meeting set for June 26, 2006 looks likelyhuh to trade better relations for Australian recognition of Indonesia's rule over West Papua. [ [ BBC] ; [] ; [ ABC Asia Pacific] ; [,10117,19387091-38196,00.html] .]

* Ambalat Block in dispute with Malaysia (current)
* Sipadan and Ligitan Islands in dispute with Malaysia (closed, given to Malaysia)

International organization participation

*Cairns Group
*International Maritime Organization
*IOM (observer)

See also

*Pakistan-Indonesia relations
*United States-Indonesia relations
*Australia-Indonesia relations
*Indonesian diplomatic missions
*List of diplomatic missions in Indonesia
*List of Indonesian Ambassadors to Australia
*List of Indonesian Ambassadors to the United Kingdom


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