Remarks With Indonesian Foreign Minister Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa
Secretary of State
I will say a few words in Bahasa, and for those who are not proficient in Bahasa (inaudible.)
(Via interpreter.) I am pleased to be able to have welcomed Secretary of State Madam Hillary Clinton to Indonesia today. Our meeting today constitutes a continuation of the series of consultations and conversations we have had over the recent past, including at the sidelines of the recently concluded ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh in July 2012. As a matter of fact, in just a little over two weeks time, I will once again meet Her Excellency Secretary Clinton, this time within the context of the third Indonesia-U.S. Joint Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C. on the 20th of September, 2012.
Such intensive consultations reflect the robust state of the two countries’ relations. In keeping with its designation as a comprehensive partnership, comprehensive suggests the broad range of issues covered in our bilateral relations, including cooperation in economic and development, social, cultural, educational, scientific and technological as well as political and security affairs, whereas partnership entails a relationship that is mutually beneficial. I can convey that and can inform you and pleased that this evening, during the course of our meeting this evening, we were able to take stock of the state of our bilateral relations, which efforts have certainly yielded results.
Both ministries have identified a number of products that we have received both in the Joint Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C. to come. Our meeting today as certainly injected a strong momentum in such directions. No doubt, of course, our discussion today extends beyond bilateral issues. We were able to have had a very productive and thorough exchange of views on regional and global issues. This reflects the fact that the significance of Indonesia and the U.S. relations extend beyond bilateral dimension. It has ramifications to the region and beyond, most especially in the same way that Indonesia’s relationship with other key partners in the region, the relation between Indonesia and the U.S. have proven to be a strong contributor to the region’s peace, stability, and prosperity.
More specifically, we were able to exchange views, for example, on ASEAN-U.S. relations, the importance of the region’s architecture building, including the East Asia Summit, as well as developments on the Korean Peninsula and maritime issues, such as the South China Sea.
On the latter, I believe the two countries continue to share the view that the overlapping claims between the parties concerned must be resolved peacefully – I repeat, must be resolved peacefully – and also by diplomatic means, based on the principles of international law and the Law of the Sea. In particular, I believe both sides recognize the importance of making further progress on the what is called code of conduct on the South China Sea. Indonesia, for its part, will certainly continue and, indeed, enhance its diplomatic efforts on this issue. In essence, I believe both the United States and Indonesia recognize the importance of continuing to maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific, a condition which has been instrumental in promoting the region’s prosperity and the region’s progress.
I and the Secretary of State of the U.S. also discussed a number of global developments of common concern, including that in the Middle East, more specifically on the development in Syria. I have also informed the Secretary of State of the role of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a co-chair of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and its forthcoming chairmanship of APEC 2013.
The Secretary of State of the U.S. and I will continue discussions on the above issues in the working dinner following this press conference. Tomorrow, God willing, in (inaudible) the Secretary of State of the U.S. will pay a call on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. And of course, in a few days time, I shall have the occasion of working closely with the Secretary of the U.S. at the forthcoming APEC meeting at Vladivostok.
I would like to continue now. I invite her Excellency, the Secretary of State, to deliver, to convey her remarks.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by thanking the Foreign Minister for his very warm welcome and let me express how pleased I am to be back in Indonesia. As the Minister said, we had a long, comprehensive, very constructive conversation on a full range of issues. That is what I have come to expect from the Minister. Minister Natalegawa is highly respected in representing his nation on behalf of the President, the government, and the people.
Before I address the issues that Marty raised, let me just very clearly condemn the attack on our consulate personal in Peshawar, Pakistan. We pray for the safe recovery of both American and Pakistani victims and once again we deplore the cowardly act of suicide bombing and terrorism that has affected so many people around the world, and which we all must stand against.
Here in Indonesia, one of the very first countries I visited as Secretary of State, we have seen our relationship grow stronger and deeper. The U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership is a foundation for America’s renewed engagement in the Asia Pacific, and I’m looking forward to welcoming the Foreign Minister and the Indonesian delegation to Washington in just a few weeks.
One focus of America’s engagement here is promoting economic growth through trade and development. The Indonesian Government has announced more than half a trillion dollars in planned infrastructure improvement, and our government and our businesses strongly support this commitment by the Indonesian Government. We want to do even more in working to enhance jobs and economic growth for both our countries and the people of them. We think Indonesia’s growth, which continues to be so strong, is essential not only for Indonesia but regionally and globally.
We also believe that education remains the cornerstone of economic growth and individual advancement in the 21st century economy. To that end, I’m pleased to announce that USAID will invest $83 million during the next five years to support primary education in Indonesia, and we also providing a $20 million fund for graduate training for Indonesian students in the United States. These kinds of educational exchanges reflect the model of partnership that the United States is pursuing based on shared values, delivering concrete benefits for our people, and enhancing our partnership.
On regional issues, I expressed to the Minister our gratitude to Indonesia for supporting stronger American engagement in the Asia Pacific. It was during Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN that President Obama became the first American president to attend the East Asia Summit. I’m confident that as Indonesia looks ahead to becoming the host of APEC next year, it will bring the same expertise and commitment to consensus building and results as the chair of that important group as well.
I thank the Minister for the efforts that Indonesia has undertaken following this year’s ASEAN Regional Forum. I expressed our appreciation for Indonesia’s and the Minister’s personal efforts to advance ASEAN unity. We believe that the U.S.-ASEAN relationship is one of our most important and we want to support ASEAN unity in this region. The recent U.S.-ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Cambodia and the largest ever U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum, which I hosted in July in Cambodia, are evidence of that. As we intensify our engagement with ASEAN, we look forward to working with our dialogue partners to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat.
We discussed developments in the South China Sea, and I commended, again, the Minister for his personal leadership under the President’s guidance. The United States has a national interest, as every country does, in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, freedom on navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea. As I have said many times, the United States does not take a position on competing territorial claim over land features, but we believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively together to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and certainly without the use of force.
That is why we encourage ASEAN and China to make meaningful progress towards finalizing a comprehensive code of conduct in order to establish rules of the road and clear procedures for peacefully addressing disagreements. And we endorse the recent ASEAN six-point principles on the South China Sea. We will continue to support the work that ASEAN is doing, and in particular the leadership of Indonesia, to clarify and pursue claims in accordance with international law, including the Law of the Sea Convention.
The world looks to Indonesia as the leading democracy in the region – as indeed the third largest democracy in the world – to promote democracy and human rights, and we will work together on behalf of those important principles. We both agree strongly that there should be no discrimination against minorities on any basis – religious or communal, sectarian, ethnic – and that we should promote freedom and tolerance for all.
In pursuit of our shared democratic values, we’re pursuing plans for our Triangular Cooperation program, which aims to strengthen democratic institutions in countries such as Burma. Once again, the United States will be sending a high-level delegation to the Bali Democracy Forum to strengthen democratic reform and civil society and to stand up for the human rights that democracies are pledged to protect.
And finally, the Foreign Minister and I exchanged views on Iran and Syria. On Iran, we believe – and we share this common position – that Iran has a right to the use of peaceful nuclear energy. But Iran must abide by its international obligations and cannot be permitted to get a nuclear weapons.
On Syria, both our countries remain committed to three priorities: putting an end to the violence, responding to humanitarian need, and helping to facilitate a political, democratic transition that will benefit the Syrian people.
So again, Minister, I thank you for these very substantive discussions. I thank you for yours and the President’s leadership on behalf of regional and global issues of great importance to us all. I look forward to seeing you in Vladivostok in a few days, and welcoming you to Washington in a few weeks. Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAMA: Thank you very much, Hillary, for your remarks. I wonder whether we can allow some of our colleagues to pose one or two questions before we proceed to the working dinner that we had planned.
QUESTION: Thank you for the opportunity to ask. My name is (inaudible). I’m from an English language daily newspaper, Jakarta Globe. I would like to ask Mrs. Clinton if the U.S. Government proposal to sell air-to-ground sales have been approved by U.S. Congress to accept the F-16 jet fighters Indonesia? And what other defense system that U.S. will provide assistance for Indonesia? And why would the U.S. want to sell missiles to Indonesia despite human rights records in Papua? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by saying that we support Indonesia’s security, including its defense, and we believe strongly that Indonesia has a right to enhance its security. We obviously work closely with Indonesia on a range of issues, particularly on counterterrorism cooperation. And we commend the Indonesian Government for the law enforcement-led approach to counterterrorism and believe that Indonesia has made great strides in protecting its citizens and citizens more generally who visit and travel for business or recreation to Indonesia, which is such a wonderful country to be able to see.
Regarding the very important question on the situation in Papua, we support the territorial integrity and that includes Papua and West Papua provinces. We believe strongly that dialogue between Papuan representatives in the Indonesian Government would help address concerns that the Papuans have and assist in resolving conflict peacefully, improving governance and development. We think there should be inclusive consultation with the Papuan people and implementation of the special autonomy law for Papua. And of course, we deplore violence of any sort in Papua, and when it does occur there should be full and transparent investigations under the rule of law and make sure that lessons are learned from that.
So we think that there’s been an enormous amount of good work done by the Indonesian Government, and we’re going to continue to work with them and raise issues as that becomes necessary.
FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Let me just – although the question was not directed to me per se, but one thing to underscore, the point that I was trying to make at the beginning, U.S.-Indonesia relations is a comprehensive one. If one was to simply pick an issue, as you have just now identified, you can get acute impression of what the full breadth of Indonesia-U.S. relations. And whenever we have issues that we must discuss, as fellow democracies, countries that enjoy very comprehensive and stable and stronger bilateral relations, we have been able to discuss this matter in a very frank and open and candid manner, in a problem-solving manner as well.
So I mean, that’s how it is, and we respect and we thank the consistent position by the United States with respect to the territorial integrity of Indonesia. I think that has been a given. And it’s also, at the same time, (inaudible) additional sense of responsibility to ensure that we live up not only to the international community’s expectations but most of all – most of all – to the expectation of our own people in terms of how we conduct ourselves as a democracy nowadays.
MODERATOR: Next question, the gentleman from Reuters.
QUESTION: Andrew Quinn from Reuters. Firstly, if I could go back to the South China Sea. For you both, following the Phnom Penh conference, there was a lot of concern that ASEAN had not unified its position on how to approach China. After your talks today, are you both convinced that ASEAN does indeed have a unified and strong position and will take on China collectively on these various territorial disputes?
And Madam Secretary, when you’re in Beijing, what’s going to be your message to the Chinese over specific moves, such as establishing a garrison in disputed territory?
And finally, Madam Secretary, if there’s anything more you could tell us on the Peshawar incident, specifically if we have any indication who might be behind it or if it’s related to the drone strikes.
FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: I guess I can – I’ll take the first question, the first part of your question.
On the ASEAN unity, it’s important to underscore ASEAN unity is not meant to be at the expense of any other party. It’s not about us rallying around to counter or to put any other country on the spot or to put them in a corner. ASEAN unity over the years, over the decades, has been instrumental, has been critical even, in ensuring the stability and the prosperity, as the result therefore, of the region.
So when we, Indonesia, we worked hard a few weeks ago to restore ASEAN unity on the South China Sea, it was very much imbued with that sense of how ASEAN cohesion and unity is instrumental and essential if we are to make progress on the diplomatic track on the South China Sea. That is why a few weeks ago I had a very good, frank, and candid discussion with my Foreign Minister of China colleague here in this very same building to call on him to revert back to the diplomatic process.
I think the track is quite clear what’s ahead of us, namely we must apply ourselves to have the code of conduct done. Absent a code of conduct, absent a diplomatic process, we can be certain of more incidents and more tension for our region. So it is a win-win and relationship – it is not only right that ASEAN must be united, but it is also the smart thing to do, because absent an ASEAN unity, the question will become like a loose cannon in the way the issue is being discussed.
So in the weeks to come, we will have with all our partners – all our partners, I must emphasize that – and in trying to bring about a diplomatic management and solution to the problem.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can only echo and reinforce what the minister said, because he has led the diplomacy for the adoption of the six-point statement of principles by ASEAN on July 20th. That showed unity was very important, and the United States endorses those principles. We believe too, along with ASEAN, that it is critical for the work that has begun on the code of conduct to continue. The United States believes very strongly that no party should take any steps that would increase tensions or do anything that could be viewed as coercive or intimidating to advance their territorial claims. It’s important that there be, as the minister said, a mechanism for resolving the potential for the outbreak of conflict or miscalculation by any party. Because remember, there are many claimants. It’s not just ASEAN members claiming vis-a-vis China. There are claims within ASEAN members themselves.
So this is in everyone’s interest, and it is time for diplomacy. We have the East Asia Summit coming up in Phnom Penh in November. This should be the goal that diplomacy pursues to try to attain agreement, as the Minister is doing, on a robust code of conduct to begin to try to literally calm the waters and enable people to work together toward better outcomes.
And I will be discussing these matters in Beijing with Chinese leaders. I think we can make progress before the East Asia Summit, and it certainly is in everyone’s interest that we do so.
Regarding your second question, it is still early in the investigation of the incident. It appears that a van filled with both American and Pakistani personnel, as well as locally employed staff at the Embassy site, were targeted by a suicide bomber who drove a vehicle into this van with the consequence there were injuries to both Pakistanis and Americans in the van and on the ground. The information I have is that the Pakistani authorities responded very appropriately to the scene, and we don’t have any further information at this point. The injured are being taken care of. Some have been airlifted to Islamabad hospitals. But we appreciate the support we are getting from the Pakistani law enforcement and government personnel.
But I would just end by saying Indonesia has been a victim of terrorism. So many countries have now. And it’s deeply regrettable that there are those who pursue political goals through terrorism. I mean, that’s what’s so important about a democracy like Indonesia. I mean, as big a country with as diverse a population as Indonesia has, people have an outlet. They can compete in the political process. They can put their ideas forward. They can ask for the votes of their fellow citizens. And in the 21st century, that is what we all should be doing. And we have to stand against terrorism and move toward political change and democracy everywhere.
FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Thank you, Hillary. Let me also, on that note, one thing to express in the clearest manner possible our strong condemnation of terrorist acts, whomever committed against and whomever propagated by. And Indonesia, as Hillary – as Secretary Clinton has said, has itself been victims of terrorist acts, and we remain side by side with all our democratic partners in wanting to overcome the price of terrorism. And we are sympathetic, and we hope those who have been injured by this latest incident can recover quickly and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
I think that that concludes our press statement, and I would like to thank you very much once again, Hillary, for being (inaudible) to continue in our discussions.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.