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Indonesia Seeks Greater Recognition in World Affairs


Indonesia's ambassador to the United States says his country wants to play an active role in helping resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. Speaking at a news conference in Washington Tuesday, the envoy told reporters his country also wants to play a larger role in bringing about international peace and stability.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is indicating it is ready to step out onto the world stage.

"As a country with 220, 230 million population, we think we are not a small one," said Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat.

That was Jakarta's envoy to the United States, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat. He said Indonesia has an obligation to contribute to efforts to establish global peace and security, and he pointed to the North Korean nuclear crisis as one issue where Jakarta believes it can help.

"We have access to North Korea, because we have diplomatic relation," he said. "They have also their representative in Indonesia, their embassy in Indonesia. We have embassy in North Korea. Why don't we use this for us to help? And we also have very close relations with the Republic of Korea, South Korea."

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono postponed a trip to North and South Korea originally planned for July, after Pyongyang test-fired a series of missiles earlier that month.

The Indonesian ambassador said the trip was put on hold because, in his words, the timing is not right. He said Jakarta is waiting until what he described as "states of development in that particular part of the world are conducive" for a visit.

At the same time, Indonesia sent an emissary to North Korea, in what the ambassador described as Jakarta's attempt to be as helpful as possible. Indonesia also participated in talks on the North Korean nuclear issue that were held last month on the sidelines of a regional Southeast Asian meeting in Malaysia.

The envoy said Indonesia has contributed troops to U.N. peacekeeping operations in many countries, and is preparing to send troops to Lebanon.

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