IRP’s Interview With Indonesian President Named Notable Foreign Policy Insight

By IRP Staff, January 10, 2012

Jayshree Bajoria, a senior staff writer and editor at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote about meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as an IRP Gatekeeper Editor to Indonesia in May 2011. Bajoria focused on the country's emerging profile as the 2011 chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and member of the G20. Bajoria's interview with Indonesia's leader has been selected as one of CFR.org's eleven notable foreign policy insights for 2011.

Yudhoyono assured Gatekeepers that Indonesia is serious in conducting reforms in infrastructure, the legal system, and the government, but that it will be a long and "painful" process. "The president also expressed concern about growing radicalization in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country," Bajoria notes, and "on lessons that Indonesia could offer Egypt and other countries in the Middle East seeking democracy, Yudhoyono says the militaries in the countries must reform first."

CFR.org highlighted Yudhoyono's foreign policy stance with a quote on China and its neighbors: "I had a talk with other ASEAN leaders and they share the same view as me that China must be a part of preserving the security and order in the region. It's my hope that China can do the same [as us]--avoiding gunboat diplomacy and solving any dispute in this region peacefully." -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, May 25, 2011.

Bajoria also wrote about the lessons other countries can learn about Indonesia's philosophy of religious tolerance.