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Office of the Historian

A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Indonesia


U.S.-Indonesian interaction has a long history, dating back to the early 19th century when sufficient numbers of U.S. traders and others stopped in the then-Dutch colony to warrant the establishment of a consular post. However, relations remained on an informal level until after Indonesian independence following World War II.

Modern Flag of Indonesia


U.S. Recognition of Indonesian Independence, 1949.

The United States recognized the Republic of the United States of Indonesia on December 28, 1949, when U.S. Ambassador H. Merle Cochran presented his credentials and a message of congratulations on Indonesian independence from President Harry S. Truman to President Sukarno of Indonesia. Indonesia had been under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Consular Presence

Establishment of Consular Relations, 1801.

The United States established its first consular post in what is now Indonesia in the city of Jakarta when it appointed Thomas Hewes on November 24, 1801. At the time, the territory was a Dutch colony and the city was known as Batavia.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1949.

Diplomatic relations were established on December 28, 1949, when U.S. Ambassador H. Merle Cochran presented his credentials to President Sukarno. Ambassador Cochran had previously been the U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission for Indonesia.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Indonesia
  • Department of State Country Information: Indonesia
  • Library of Congress Country Study: Indonesia