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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08JAKARTA1175
2008-06-16 09:47:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Jakarta
Cable title:  

AUSTRALIA-INDONESIA: RUDD VISIT A SUCCESS DESPITE

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  EAID  ID  AS 
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VZCZCXRO0202
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1175/01 1680947
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 160947Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9304
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 2650
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 5143
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2107
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 2748
RUEHBAD/AMCONSUL PERTH 0887
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0775
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001175 

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MLS, EAP/ANP, EAP/MLS
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID ID AS
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA-INDONESIA: RUDD VISIT A SUCCESS DESPITE
MINOR MISSTEPS

REF: JAKARTA 1143 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Deputy Pol/C Stanley Harsha for reasons 1.4 (b+d).



1. (U) This message was coordinated with Consulate Medan.



2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Australian Prime Minister Rudd's June 13-14
visit to Indonesia highlighted the overall positive
relationship between the two countries. PM Rudd and
President Yudhoyono agreed on a broad range of political,
economic and development initiatives. A few minor
mishaps--including mistranslation of Yudhoyono's comments on
Australia's travel warning--marred the otherwise successful
visit. END SUMMARY



3. (SBU) Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited Jakarta
June 13 and met Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
and range of other government and civil society leaders. He
also traveled to Aceh on June 14. This was his most
extensive Indonesia trip since taking office. (Rudd visited
Bali in December 2007 for the UN Climate Change Conference.)

POSITIVE OUTCOMES



4. (SBU) Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs (DEPLU) and
Australian Embassy interlocutors agreed that the visit had
produced several significant positive outcomes. Rudd
accepted Yudhoyono's invitation to co-chair the Bali
Democracy Forum that the GOI plans to host later this year.
They also agreed to begin negotiations on a reciprocal
working-holiday visa program. This arrangement would allow
young people to take short-term employment while on extended
tourist visits.



5. (SBU) On the economic front, Rudd and Yudhoyono agreed to
promote Australian direct investment in Indonesia and signed
a five-year development partnership. Rudd spoke of the
shared goal of reducing trade barriers, and stated that
concluding the Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade
Agreement is a priority for his government. The two leaders
also inked an MOU establishing an Indonesia-Australia Forest
Carbon Partnership. The Partnership will provide for
cooperation and capacity building in forestry policy
development. It will also assist Indonesia develop a
national forest carbon accounting and monitoring system. In
public remarks, Rudd highlighted the link between forest
protection and carbon markets, and committed to placing
avoided deforestation on the July G8 meeting agenda.



6. (SBU) Rudd also agreed to developmental assistance
partnerships with Nadhatul Ulama and Muhammadiyyah,
Indonesia's two largest mass-Muslim organizations. Under
these agreements, the GOA will provide approximately A$2.5
million to augment the groups' disaster response capabilities.

MINOR MISHAPS



7. (C/NF) Rudd's otherwise positive program was marred by
minor snafus during his June 13 joint press availability with
Yudhoyono. In a comment on security issues, President
Yudhoyono said that he understood Australia's need to protect
its citizens and assured Rudd that the security situation in
Indonesia was "normal." In translating the President's
remarks, Yudhoyono's interpreter added that SBY looked
forward to Australia lifting its travel advisory and implied
that the GOA had already decided to do so. The President did
not actually say this and the mistake set off a furious round
of consultations between senior officials and several quick
clarifications of the remarks. Senior Indonesian officials
have pressed Australia in private to drop their travel
warning, especially following the USG's recent decision to do
so. Australian Embassy contacts said this was one of many
logistical and protocol problems that plagued the visit.



8. (C/NF) Rudd also stumbled over the issue of whether
Australia would consider an asylum request by members of the
Ahmadiyah sect. (Note: The GOI has labeled the Ahmadiyah
sect "deviant" and sharply restricted its activities

JAKARTA 00001175 002 OF 002


(reftel). When a reporter pressed the issue, Rudd admitted
that he was not familiar with the details. Australian
Embassy contacts said they had provided a briefing paper on
the Ahmadiyah issue to the PM's staff. Embassy contacts
blamed the PM's lack of knowledge on inexperienced staffers
in his advance team. (Note: Indonesian asylum claims can be
a sensitive issue for both countries. Indonesia-Australia
relations hit an especially rocky patch in 2006, when the GOA
grated asylum to 42 Papuans. Jakarta temporarily recalled
its ambassador in protest.)

COMMITMENT TO ACEH



9. (SBU) Rudd spoke on June 14 in Banda Aceh, where he opened
a school that had been rebuilt with Australian assistance
following the December 2004 tsunami. He outlined Australian
reconstruction aid to date and promised that Australia's
commitment to Aceh would continue far into the future.

HUME