Thu, 18 Aug 1994

RI foreign policy enters a new phase

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Alatas said yesterday that the start of the Second Long Term Development Plan (PJPT II) marks a new era in the country's foreign policy.

"It's quite clear that not only domestically are we closing an era, but in terms of international relations and foreign policy we too are entering a transitional phase," Alatas said elaborating on President Soeharto's state address to the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Aug. 16.

Speaking after meeting with visiting foreign journalists at his office, Alatas explained that new obstacles and challenges in the international sphere face the country in the years to come.

"If we aren't in a new era yet, then we're definitely entering a transitional stage leading into one," he said.

In his State of the Nation address, President Soeharto said that with the end of the Cold War era, the focus has shifted to developing a better and more equitable economic order.

However, the President warned that, "the advanced countries are trying to arrange the global economy by themselves."

"In such a world evolution, there is every possibility the advanced countries will become more advanced and the underdeveloped countries more underdeveloped," Soeharto said.

For that reason, Soeharto said the Non-Aligned Movement, which he currently chairs, is mobilizing solidarity and forces in a non-confrontational approach so developing countries are not left even further behind.

Alatas said that as Indonesia celebrates its 49th anniversary, the nation should brace itself for new conventions prevailing in world politics.

"We are entering a phase where the assumptions, rules and policies which divided the world in two are no longer applicable," he said. "A new philosophy is needed to brave the fresh challenges ahead." (mds)