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02 August 2002

Transcript: U.S., Indonesia Starting to Normalize Military Ties

(Powell, Indonesia's foreign minister Aug. 2 remarks) (2060)
The United States and Indonesia are starting to build a more "normal"
military-to-military relationship, Secretary of State Colin Powell
"We believe that programs such as international military education and
training and fellowship programs, that expose Indonesian military
personnel to United States training and to United States personnel,
help with respect to human rights issues and we should not cut off
that opportunity," Powell told reporters at a press briefing he and
Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda gave in Jakarta August 2.
The United States is also embarking on programs working with the
Indonesian police as part of its global counterterrorism efforts, the
Secretary said.
The United States had cut off military relations with Indonesia
because of its military's human rights abuses in East Timor.
Powell said the United States is "very pleased" with the level of
U.S.-Indonesian cooperation on a range of bilateral issues, such as
counter-terrorism, economic and trade matters.
Following is the State Department transcript of the press briefing:
(begin transcript)
Office of the Spokesman
August 2, 2002
Remarks By Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell,
Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda
August 2, 2002
Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Jakarta, Indonesia
FOREIGN MINISTER HASSAN WIRAJUDA: (translated from Bahasa Indonesian
language) Ladies and gentlemen from the media, good morning, for
around half an hour I've met with Secretary of State Colin Powell, who
is in, indeed, a brief visit to Indonesia. We discussed several issues
on, first, the follow-up to the memorandum of understanding or
statement agreed during President Megawati's visit to Washington last
19th of September, all the follow ups that have been taken by both the
government of Indonesia and the government of the United States,
including efforts to improve the capacity or capability of Indonesia
in dealing with terrorism and other different issues. In many ways, we
have noted the progress that has been achieved in the context of
bilateral relations between Indonesia and the United States including
the military-to-military cooperation as well as with the police.
Furthermore, we also raised during the meeting with Secretary of State
Colin Powell some our concerns including the case of Agus Budiman, who
had been formally acquitted after serving around six months in
detention and is now in process of deportation. Aside from that,
another issue important to us is how to best settle the Karaha Bodas
case, upon which Powell has pledged to take that into consideration
and support settlement efforts.
Finally, I would like to give the opportunity to Secretary Powell. I
just mentioned briefly to my own media about the discussion that we
just had, points that we have discussed and, of course also our
determination to help strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia
and the U.S.
MINISTER WIRAJUDA (English): I just mentioned, and repeated to my own
media, the discussion that we just had the points that we have
discussed, and of course our determination help strengthen the
bilateral relations between Indonesia and the United States. Secretary
Powell, you have the floor.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much Mr. Minister, it's a great
pleasure for me to be back in Indonesia and to be here for the first
time as Secretary of State, and also to be the first Secretary of
State to visit Indonesia since you have made such a dramatic return to
the process of democratization. I look forward to my meetings in the
course of the day with President Megawati and with other government
officials and as you've just noted, I think we have had a good start
to our discussions today by reviewing the actions we have taken
together since President Megawati's visit last September. We're very
pleased with the level of our cooperation on a range of bilateral
issues -- not just counter-terrorism -- but our discussions with
respect to economic matters, trade matters, and all the other things
that two great democracies should discuss with one another.
We are one of the oldest democracies and Indonesia is one of the
youngest, but we share a common value system. We believe that
democracy is a form of government that will provide a better life for
people that is based on values; values enshrined in belief about human
rights that are applicable to all men and women. We admire Indonesia
so much as a Muslim nation, which at the same time has great diversity
within that nation, and allows that diversity to flower in a way that
benefits the whole society. We talked about our counter-terrorism
efforts and our military-to-military programs. I'm pleased that as a
result of the leadership shown by President Megawati we are able now
to start down a road toward greater military-to-military cooperation
and more work with your police forces as you deal with those elements
within every society these days that are determined not to respect the
rights of people, not to respect democracy, but to undertake terrorism
as a way of pushing their evil agenda. And so I'm very pleased to be
here and I look forward to my conversations in the rest of the day
with President Megawati and other officials. Thank you.
QUESTION:  (inaudible)
SECRETARY POWELL: I believe every nation is threatened by terrorism,
and not just Indonesia and the United States, but every nation that
believes in freedom is at risk from terrorist organizations such as
Al-Qaeda and so many others. That's why President Bush, when we began
the campaign against terror last year, made it clear that this had to
be a campaign not just against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan but Al-Qaeda
everywhere, and all other terrorist organizations who refuse to pursue
their goals by the rule of law. The very fact that they are terrorist
organizations means that they do not accept the rule of law. They are
willing to kill innocent people and destroy democracies in order to
have their way. So I believe that Indonesia has that threat, the
United States has that threat and we all need to work jointly against
these kinds of organizations and these sorts of individuals. And
that's what we are planning to do, that's what we are doing and I hope
to do more of it in the future.
The fact that the Minister and I were in Brunei yesterday with the
ASEAN nations agreeing to a declaration that will enhance our
cooperation among ASEAN nations and the United States in the years
ahead is solid evidence of our understanding of this threat and our
commitment to dealing with this threat.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the U. S. government has already changed to a
policy (inaudible) from containment and deterrence (inaudible)
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
QUESTION: U. S. Government already changed the policy from defensive
containment and deterrence.
SECRETARY POWELL: Can anybody hear?
QUESTION: U. S. Government already changed the policy from defensive
containment and deterrence to preemptive attack and defensive
intervention. What is the impact toward Indonesia and other countries
in this region?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't think there is any relationship. We have not
shifted our strategy from deterrence and defense to preemptive strike.
Preemptive action has always been something that is possible for a
nation to undertake when it feels threatened and can see that threat
coming. With respect to Indonesia we have full confidence in President
Megawati and her officials in the TNI to deal with threats and what we
are trying to do is to help President Megawati and her leaders and the
TNI enhance their capabilities and be better able to deal with the
threats that President Megawati and the leaders of Indonesia have
determined exist within the country.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) What is it about Indonesia's human rights that
has changed to make you believe that the Leahy Amendment should be
MINISTER WIRAJUDA: The question of terrorism again underlines to us
that terrorism is not only a threat to the United States but a threat
to all of us. For that matter Indonesia is working to help strengthen
its capacity to deal with terrorism; both domestic terrorism but of
course cross-border and international terrorism. We have been working
closely with the United States for that matter and Secretary Powell
just referred to declarations that ASEAN signed with the United States
yesterday on exchange of information and intelligence information with
ASEAN countries, but also on capacity-building on different areas,
this is basically the translation of our political will to combat
terrorism through more concrete cooperation.
QUESTION: Why do you believe that (inaudible) Indonesia will not
become another Afghanistan?
MINISTER WIRAJUDA: The fact is that Indonesia is not Afghanistan and
we do not believe that Indonesia will become the future Afghanistan.
If you see from the perspective of religion you will know that
Indonesian Muslims are very moderate ones, and the fact that there are
small groups that have a tendency or orientation to radicalism doesn't
mean that they are a majority. There are always small groups of them
and I truly believe, I just mentioned to Secretary Powell this
morning, that questions of, for example, the council for an Islamic
state, was discussed in this very building in 1945. The council
Islamic State, and the question of the application of Sharia was the
issue that was discussed here in 1945; this issue that is now
discussed in the process of the amendment of our constitution, and as
you will follow, there is very little support for that.
SECRETARY POWELL: The Minister and I had candid conversations about
military-to-military programs and also programs working with the
police department on our counterterrorism efforts. And we are starting
down a path to more a normal relationship with respect to
military-to-military. We're not there yet, but we're starting. And we
believe that programs such as international military education and
training and fellowship programs, that expose Indonesian military
personnel to United States training and to United States personnel,
help with respect to human rights issues and we should not cut off
that opportunity. This is a position I think that we have been able to
successfully present to our Congress, but at the same time the
American Congress is watching carefully and is expecting action to be
taken with respect to past abuses that might have occurred. And so
this is just the beginning of a process. We are not at the end of the
road yet, but I think it's a very strong and positive start to a more
normal military-to-military relationship. Thank you.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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