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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2002 > August

Remarks With Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Jakarta, Indonesia
August 2, 2002

FOREIGN MINISTER HASSAN WIRAJUDA: (translated from Bahasa Indonesian language) Ladies and gentlemen from the media, good morning, for around half an hour Iíve 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 Megawatiís 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, itís 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 youíve just noted, I think we have had a good start to our discussions today by reviewing the actions we have taken together since President Megawatiís visit last September. Weíre 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. Iím 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 Iím 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. Thatís 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 thatís what we are planning to do, thatís 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: Iím sorry, I couldnít 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 donít 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 Indonesiaís human rights that has changed to make you believe that the Leahy Amendment should be (inaudible)

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 doesnít 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. Weíre not there yet, but weíre 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 itís a very strong and positive start to a more normal military-to-military relationship. Thank you.

 



Released on August 2, 2002

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