Meeting with Staff and Their Families at Mission Indonesia

Hillary Rodham Clinton
   Secretary of State
Scot Marciel
   Ambassador to Indonesia
Shangri La Hotel
Jakarta, Indonesia
September 4, 2012

MR. MARCIEL: Good morning, everybody. The Secretary of State, her fourth trip to Indonesia since becoming Secretary of State. She doesn't have a whole lot of time, so I'm just going to turn the microphone over to her. But please, everybody, give Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the warmest Embassy Jakarta welcome you can. Thank you. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is great to be back, and to have a chance, once again, to thank you for the great service that you do on behalf of our country, and on behalf of this important relationship. I want to thank both ambassadors for their leadership, both with our bilateral mission and our mission to ASEAN. They form a dynamic duo in making sure that we promote Americans' interests, values, and security.

This is, for me, a very important country with a lot of work for us to do. We are proud that our comprehensive partnership is really taking our relationship deeper and broader. I will be welcoming the Foreign Minister and his large delegation to Washington in a few weeks. And this team has been instrumental in furthering that relationship. And as many of you know, I was strongly in favor of deepening our relationship with ASEAN. And we are pleased that Ambassador Carden was our first-ever ambassador to ASEAN. So, in both of these important missions, we see a lot of progress and opportunity.

It could not happen without all of you. Your work is really paying off in tangible ways. There is so much to be mentioned. But just a few of the highlights: the education work that you are doing, and I announced more USAID support for that; the Millennium Challenge Corporation contract, which has such potential for really improving the lives and the economic opportunities of the Indonesian people; so much on the People to People front; defense cooperation; energy security, and so much more.

So, let me really be very clear in expressing gratitude to both our American team and the great Indonesians who work with us. I don't know what we would do without our local staff. They are truly the backbone of Mission Indonesia and Mission ASEAN. Ambassadors, DCMs, Secretaries of State come and go. But the locally-employed staff provides the memory bank and the nerve center for ongoing activities. And there are a few of you -- I don't know how many are here today -- who have worked at Embassy Jakarta for more than 30 years. Anybody here who has worked for more than 30 years? (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. You started as a child, I can tell by looking. (Laughter.)

Well, thank you. And thank all of you. And thank you, too, to the families who are here. Both American and Indonesian families are important members of our embassy mission community.

So, for me, this is just a brief stop, but a heartfelt appreciation for everything you do and everything you will do, because we believe that there is no more important future relationship in the way that we interact with and cooperate with on a comprehensive level, across the board, of not only government-to-government, but people-to-people relationships, than this one between the United States and Indonesia.

Now, I'm hearing that you've been pretty deluged by visits. I mean Scot said this is my fourth visit. I have lost track. The President has been here twice. You may be the most visited country; I am not sure. (Laughter.) So I think you deserve a deep breath and a little relaxation after I am finally out of your air space. (Laughter.) But let me now take a few minutes to say hello to as many of you as I can. And again, to Scot, David, and to the teams, thank you for really representing the United States so well. Take care. (Applause.)

PRN: 2012/T70-08