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NEWS UPDATES 26 October 2009

Indonesia won’t leave Asean, says President Yudhoyono

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Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia will never leave Asean despite its growing role in the Group of 20 rich and developing nations (G20), state news agency Antara reported.

"Admittedly, I have heard some worries that since Indonesia has a new club, new home, namely G20, it will no longer make Asean its main home," the president said in a press conference at the end of his visit in Thailand to attend the 15th Asean Summit.

As one of Asean’s founders, Indonesia will continue to play an active role in and become an important part of Asean, particularly to create an Asean Community by 2015, he said.

"That`s why it is not true that since Indonesia joins the G20, it will no longer consider Asean important. Asean is very important. After all, at a wider forum Indonesia is aware that in the G20 we can discuss global issues in a more conclusive way," he said.

At the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, the United States, last September, President Yudhoyono suggested that the rotating Asean chair be invited to any G20 meeting.
As such, Indonesia will bring not only its own interests but also those of Asean and developing countries to the G20 meeting, he said.

At their 15th summit Asean leaders appreciated Indonesia’s stand in the G20 and agreed on the formation of G20 Asean contact group comprising the Asean chair, the Asean secretary general, and Indonesia, the only G20 member from Asean. Asean finance ministers will be obliged to meet routinely to finalize Asean’s position ahead of any G20 summit.

The G20 was established particularly to seek a solution to the global financial crisis.
President Yudhoyono said in the future the G20 must not only confine itself to solving the global economic crisis but also address other global issues, such as climate change and international security.


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