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International relations

Widodo cements Muslim credentials during South Asia tour

Indonesian president turns away from insular policy and strives for world leadership

JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo has made a bid to become a leader of the Muslim world on his six-day tour of South Asia, as he sheds his inward-looking foreign policy ahead of elections later this year and next.

"Being the country with the world's largest Muslim population ... is a great political strength in our global relations," he said during a meeting with Indonesian citizens in Islamabad on Friday. He said it was time for Indonesia to pay "special attention" to the Muslim world -- not only in the Middle East but also in South Asia.

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