Dewi’s the name in foreign affairs

WHAT does DFA stand for? In Indonesia today, it could mean Dewi Fortuna Anwar or Department of Foreign Affairs.

For many, however, the two are synonymous.

Dr Dewi is President B. J. Habibie’s adviser on foreign affairs.

Indonesian diplomats and the country’s respected Islamic scholar Abdurrahman Wahid believe only she has Dr Habibie’s ear on international issues, much more perhaps than Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.

However, the Australian-trained political scientist is modest in downplaying such views.

“I do not consider myself to be influential at all,” she said in an interview with The Jakarta Post recently.

“The President is the President. He makes his own decision. If people think I am overly influential, it is their perception.”

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