|10JAKARTA206||2010-02-17 09:31:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Jakarta|
VZCZCXRO5488 OO RUEHDT RUEHPB DE RUEHJA #0206/01 0480931 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 170931Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4501 INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0101 RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 000206
1. (C) SUMMARY: In a speech on February 16, Foreign
Minister Marty Natalegawa outlined a range of priorities
based on the "democratization of Indonesia's foreign policy."
In addition to promoting international peace and security,
Indonesian diplomacy would focus on supporting economic
development. Natalegawa explained that Jakarta would
continue to use soft power to advance its interests and
sought to turn emerging challenges like climate change into
opportunities for global leadership. He said that Indonesia
wanted a greater international role but remained grounded in
Southeast Asia. Regarding United States-Indonesia relations
Natalegawa said that "the best is yet to come," and that
President Obama's visit would give the relationship greater
momentum. However, Natalegawa's speech lacked specifics on
U.S.-Indonesia ties, and the GOI appears concerned with
managing expectations in advance of the visit. END SUMMARY.
THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF FOREIGN POLICY
2. (SBU) Indonesia's foreign policy must support the
country's development priorities and provide benefits to
ordinary Indonesians, FM Natalegawa explained during a
February 16 speech before an audience of journalists and
diplomats at the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents' Club.
Natalegawa said this sensitivity to popular concerns had
created three key priorities for Indonesian foreign policy
during President Yudhoyono's second term:
-- Prosperity: Indonesian diplomats must enhance their
efforts to promote prosperity by encouraging foreign
investment, tourism, opportunities for Indonesian workers,
and the export of Indonesian products.
-- Justice: Indonesian diplomats would strengthen their
focus on consular work, particularly protecting the rights of
Indonesian migrant workers.
-- Democracy: As a consequence of the country's democratic
reforms, Indonesians expected their diplomats to promote
democracy abroad. The Bali Democracy Forum was one example
of how the GOI was pursuing this goal. However, that
Indonesian democracy promotion efforts would be "quiet and
3. (SBU) The democratization of foreign policy extended to
process as well as substance, Natalegawa said. GOI policy
makers must engage a greater range of stakeholders on foreign
policy issues, including the legislature, non-governmental
organizations and other civil society groups. In a nod to
his audience, Natalegawa pledged greater transparency and
openness to the media. These efforts, he explained, were
critical for explaining GOI foreign policy to the public and
for building support for the administration's approach.
PROMOTING PEACE AND SECURITY
4. (SBU) Indonesia would seek to play a greater role
promoting international peace and security, Natalegawa
explained, as he outlined several examples. President
Yudhoyono wants Indonesia to make a positive contribution in
Afghanistan although Natalegawa cautioned that such a
contribution would be modest. While he did not announce any
specific initiatives, Natalegawa said that Indonesia would
listen to Afghan needs and do what it could. He noted the
importance of helping the Afghan government ensure security
and said that Indonesia could help facilitate reconciliation
between the GOA and elements of the Taliban.
5. (SBU) Under the rubric of "more statecraft and less
stagecraft" Natalegawa outlined a range of other areas of
Indonesian priorities on the peace and security front.
Indonesia remained committed to providing capacity building
assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in order to
prepare the PA for eventual statehood. Indonesian diplomats
sought to play a low-key role in helping solve regional
conflicts, including the insurgencies in southern Thailand
and the southern Philippines. Indonesia also wanted to help
resolve the ongoing border tensions between Thailand and
CONTINUED USE OF SOFT POWER
6. (SBU) FM Natalegawa said the Yudhoyono administration
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planned to continue using soft power to promote Indonesia's
interests. He pointed to the many interfaith dialogues that
Indonesia has organized together with international partners,
including the United States. Indonesia saw itself as a
bridge between civilizations linking the Muslim world with
the West by demonstrating the compatibility of Islam,
democracy and modernity. This approach would, Natalegawa
explained, help Indonesia realize President Yudhoyono's goal
of "a thousand friends and zero enemies."
TACKLING EMERGING PROBLEMS
7. (SBU) Indonesian policymakers are also increasingly
focused on emerging threats that transcend national borders.
Natalegawa cited food, water and energy security, climate
change and emerging diseases as examples of such challenges.
Indonesia sought to turn these challenges into opportunities.
Natalegawa said that Indonesian efforts had put
deforestation on the international climate change agenda.
With its vast forest reserves, Indonesia now had an
opportunity to influence the global discussion on this issue.
SEEKING GREATER REGIONAL AND GLOBAL LEADERSHIP
8. (SBU) Turning to Indonesia's regional role, Natalegawa
said that ASEAN remained central to Indonesian foreign
policy. Jakarta remained committed to strengthening ASEAN in
the political/security, economic, and socio-cultural realms.
The challenge for ASEAN members now was to find ways to use
the institutions that the regional organization had built.
While Indonesia wanted to lead ASEAN on issues like democracy
and human rights, Natalegawa cautioned that other member
states must be willing to follow. This dynamic was
especially notable in dealing with Burma. While Indonesia
sought to promote reform there, it had to tread carefully in
order not to alienate other ASEAN member states.
9. (SBU) Natalegawa cast a somewhat skeptical eye toward
discussions of Asian regional architecture. He said that
Indonesia continued to study recent Australian and Japanese
proposals for new regional structures. However, Natalegawa
cautioned against putting too much faith in any one
arrangement. An Asian community was "inevitable," he
explained, but it was premature to determine exactly what
form such a community would take.
10. (SBU) Natalegawa explained that Indonesia would look to
go beyond ASEAN and wanted to play a leading role in other
international fora, particularly the G20, United Nations and
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Within the G20
context, Indonesia would try to serve as a bridge between
developed and developing countries as well as between the
West and the Muslim world. He also said that Indonesia was
closely following the process of UN reform and would consider
pressing for membership in a reformed Security Council.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME WITH THE UNITED STATES
11. (SBU) In response to a question about President Obama's
upcoming visit, FM Natalegawa said that "the best is yet to
come" in U.S.-Indonesia relations. He explained that
Indonesia's democratic reforms allowed for a deeper
relationship than was possible under Jakarta's past
authoritarian governments. The United States and Indonesia
had gotten past the point where differences over a single
issue could paralyze the entire relationship. Given this
progress, Natalegawa noted, both governments had to modernize
the bilateral relationship and give it more momentum.
President Obama's visit would, he explained, provide such
11. (C) While he struck a largely positive tone on
U.S.-Indonesia relations, FM Natalegawa's speech included few
specifics. He acknowledged the importance of the
Comprehensive Partnership but did not mention any specific
bilateral policy initiatives. Natalegawa struck a more
positive tone on regional issues. He praised United
States-Indonesia cooperation promoting democracy in Southeast
Asia and chided those who said that the United States did not
play enough of a role in the region. As reflected in
Natalegawa's speech, the GOI appears to be setting the stage
for a successful presidential visit by managing expectations.
As the Minister noted, U.S.-Indonesian relations are
starting from a relatively low level and have nowhere to go
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