November 20th, 2006 03:41 EST
United States and the Republic of Indonesia Joint Statement
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President George W. Bush today reaffirmed the strength and vitality of the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and the United States, and reviewed the highly positive development of U.S-Indonesia relations over the past two years. The two Presidents recognized the special and enduring bonds between the two countries and their people, demonstrated recently by the close cooperation following the devastating tsunami in Aceh and Hurricane Katrina. President Bush expressed his admiration for the resilience and determination of the Indonesian people and government in rebuilding areas affected by the earthquake in Yogyakarta and Central Java.
The two Presidents reaffirmed that Indonesia and the United States are bound by a broad-based democratic partnership based on equality, mutual respect, common interests and shared values of freedom, pluralism and tolerance. The Presidents committed themselves to broadening and deepening such partnership.
President Bush congratulated Indonesia on the successful signing and implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding that has brought peace to the province of Aceh, and renewed the United States' firm support for Indonesia's peace-building efforts in Aceh. President Bush also re-emphasized the United States' strong support for Indonesia's national unity and territorial integrity, and opposition to secessionist movements in any part of Indonesia. President Bush stressed the importance of a united, democratic, pluralistic and prosperous Indonesia to the region and beyond.
President Bush congratulated President Yudhoyono on signing an agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation for a $55 million Threshold program, noting that it represents a resounding endorsement of President Yudhoyono's anti-corruption program and "pro-growth, pro-job, and pro-poor" economic strategy. President Bush expressed confidence that the threshold program will have a transformative effect on Indonesia's development and international competitiveness.
Noting the strength and importance of educational and cultural links, the Presidents reviewed the excellent work being done through the US$157 million U.S-Indonesia Education Initiative on basic education, the cornerstone of U.S. assistance to Indonesia and a symbol of our forward-looking partnership. The Presidents highlighted the importance of education for democracy, tolerance and economic progress and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to revitalize their cooperation in education. The Presidents also expressed their desire to encourage more people-to-people contacts through travel, educational exchanges, and tourism between Indonesia and the United States.
President Yudhoyono and President Bush noted with satisfaction the continuing development of U.S-Indonesia economic and trade relations. They welcomed the strong support by APEC Leaders for the conclusion of an ambitious Doha Round agreement and noted their joint commitment to do everything possible to realize the development goals of the Doha negotiations. President Yudhoyono briefed President Bush on his government's program to strengthen the investment climate by improving infrastructure, reducing red tape, enhancing the rule of law and respect for contracts. They welcomed a number of positive developments since their May 2005 meeting in Washington DC, including:
* The establishment of the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership;
* Signing of a U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA);
* The June 2006 extension of U.S. Export-Import Bank coverage to private Indonesian corporations for the first time since 1998;
* The upgrading of Indonesia from the Special 301 Priority Watch List in November 2006 based on steps to improve intellectual property rights enforcement; and
* The strengthening of our dialogue through our bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to further promote and facilitate trade and investment.
The Presidents praised two recently signed MOUs, one on Cooperation in Trade in Textile and Apparel Goods and another on Combating Illegal Logging and Associated Trade in the context of the TIFA between the two countries. They also applauded the resumption of cooperation and capacity building activities between the U.S. Forest Service and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry.
The two Presidents discussed the grave threat posed by Avian Influenza (AI), and President Yudhoyono reiterated his Government's firm commitment to combating its spread. He briefed President Bush on Indonesia's completion of a unified national response plan, increase in the AI budget for 2007, and active participation in the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza. President Bush announced the United States would increase its AI assistance to Indonesia to expand animal surveillance and response efforts and strengthen nation-wide public awareness. President Bush confirmed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service would assign permanent staff to Indonesia to build more effective partnerships with their counterparts in Indonesia. President Yudhoyono thanked President Bush for the United States' work in support of the Indonesian Ministry of Health's efforts to identify human AI cases and investigate AI outbreaks. The two Presidents stressed the imperative of continued and enhanced cooperation between Indonesian and American health workers and medical scientists to fight infectious diseases, including through the Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-2), which has been in operation since 1968. They agreed that negotiations to extend the research work of NAMRU-2 should be expedited.
President Bush and President Yudhoyono reviewed the expanding partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia in the area of disaster management, emergency preparedness, and mitigation. The two Presidents noted the steady progress on constructing the west coast road in Aceh Province that will restore communication and economic links to communities that were devastated by the tsunami, and agreed on the importance of expediting land acquisition so that the road can be completed on schedule. President Bush applauded the significant progress made in reconstructing Aceh, paving the way for sustained peace and economic growth. President Bush and President Yudhoyono also welcomed the recent agreement between their two governments to cooperate on the development of a tsunami early warning system that will safeguard Indonesia's tsunami-prone areas by 2009.
The two leaders noted the tremendous opportunities for cooperation between Indonesia and the United States in the areas of alternative fuels and environmental protection. President Yudhoyono briefed President Bush on his ambitious biofuel development initiative and the Presidents endorsed the U.S.-Indonesia Energy Policy Dialogue as a forum to discuss ways and means to acquire clean and safe alternative energy, including biofuels.
As the leaders of two nations which have both suffered terrorist attacks on their soil, the two leaders reaffirmed their solidarity in defeating the scourge of terrorism. Both Presidents expressed satisfaction at the successful arrest and conviction in Indonesia of suspects involved in the 2002 incident in Timika, and agreed to begin negotiations toward a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
President Bush and President Yudhoyono discussed a broad range of regional and global security issues. President Bush and President Yudhoyono welcomed the successful restoration of bilateral military ties, and pledged to make such ties sustainable and mutually beneficial in the support of peace and stability. They agreed that such ties would be primarily targeted at increasing coordination on disaster relief, exchanges and training on the role of militaries in democratic societies, increasing mutual professional development and enhancing regional and maritime security. They agreed to explore the possibility of a Status of Forces Agreement.
President Bush congratulated Indonesia on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Both Presidents pledged to work closely together on issues before the Council in order to maintain international peace and security, especially the challenge posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program. President Bush applauded Indonesia's participation in maintaining peace in southern Lebanon by volunteering forces to join UNIFIL. The two Presidents also discussed the Arab-Israeli conflict, and both Presidents stressed their support for the establishment of a viable, independent, democratic and sovereign Palestine state that would live side by side in peace with Israel.
The two Presidents stressed the importance of inter-civilizational and inter-faith dialogues. The two Presidents expressed their concern to see growing religious intolerance in some parts of the world and their common desire to work against it. President Bush expressed great admiration and respect for Indonesia's long history of religious tolerance and moderate Islamic thought.