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08JAKARTA1637 2008-08-28 08:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
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1. (C) SUMMARY: Per reftel, poloff has urged GOI officials
to reject a draft UNGA resolution asking the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the
legality of Kosovo independence. GOI interlocutors said they
generally viewed questions of independence as political
rather than legal matters. Indonesia would not, however,
formulate a firm position until it had reviewed the draft
resolution. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) On August 28, Poloff delivered reftel demarche re
Kosovo to Riando Sembiring, Deputy Director for International
Security and Disarmament Affairs--the office responsible for
UN issues--at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DEPLU).
During the meeting, poloff underscored that referring the
matter to the ICJ could create renewed uncertainty in the

3. (C) Poloff argued that Kosovo independence was a political
issue, not a legal one. For that reason, the United States
urged Indonesia to oppose a UN General Assembly resolution
calling for an ICJ advisory opinion on the question. Poloff
noted that an ICJ ruling on this matter could have
implications for secessionist movements in other parts of the
world. This point should concern Indonesia, as a country
that has dealt with separatist movements in regions like Aceh
and Papua, poloff noted.

4. (C) Sembiring responded that Indonesia had not yet
formulated a position on the issue and would not do so until
it had reviewed the draft resolution. That said, Indonesian
officials were generally inclined to view questions of
independence as political rather than legal issues. He
acknowledged that the possible implications of an ICJ ruling
for other matters linked with separatism would weigh heavily
on the GOI as it considered the matter.