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Cablegate: President Yudhoyono On Inter-Religious Dialogue,

VZCZCXRO8863
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2322/01 2360725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240725Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5910
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 1039
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY PRIORITY 3406
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1675
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002322

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EB, OES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM SENV ECON ID
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT YUDHOYONO ON INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE,
SAMPLE SHARING, CORAL REEFS


JAKARTA 00002322 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) Summary: On August 24, Ambassador Hume spoke with
President Yudhoyono after SBY's address commemorating 50
years of American Field Service (AFS) activity in Indonesia.
Yudhoyono stressed the need for cultural interaction as the
best way to build peace. The Ambassador expressed
appreciation that Indonesia had recently shared avian
influenza samples and that White House environmental adviser
Connaughton had had good discussions in Jakarta, adding that
Yudhoyono's letter on the Coral Triangle Initiative had been
transmitted to President Bush. SBY said cooperation on avian
influenza issues should continue and that a senior delegation
would participate in the White House Conference of Major
Economies, September 27-28. He thanked the Ambassador for
strong support of educational exchanges which brought
Indonesian students to the United States. End Summary.

Value of Inter-Religious Dialogue
---------------------------------
3. (U) President Yudhoyono, accompanied by Education Minister
Soedibyo, spoke for twenty minutes to an audience of 500
attending a conference to commemorate 50 years of AFS
activity in Indonesia. In a thoughtful address, SBY
emphasized the value of AFS student exchanges which brought
together people from different cultures, for without such
exchanges "the world might otherwise be in the grip of hatred
and conflict."

4. (U) He discussed the 2005 events caused by the publication
of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper,
explaining if all involved had benefited from an AFS exchange
program the events might not have happened. The Western
cartoonist would have known that an insult against the
Prophet would have been like plunging a dagger into the heart
of every devout Muslim, and Muslims would have understood the
Western respect for freedom of expression, even when
offensive. The values of neither civilization should be
sacrificed.

5. (U) SBY said his government would do its part to build
bridges. For example, it had hosted in Bali a media dialogue
that reviewed the cartoon case and stressed the need for
mutual respect. This year it had also hosted a Sunni-Shia
dialogue in Bogor that could help ease the tensions in Iraq.
He concluded with a plea for governments to move beyond mere
coexistence to engagement and even partnership as the way to
address climate change, poverty, and the risk of war.

AI Sample Sharing, Coral Triangle Initiative, ASEAN Luncheon
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
6. (SBU) After the address, SBY's adviser Dino Djalal asked
Ambassador Hume to join the president. At the outset of the
twenty-minute conversation, Hume expressed appreciation that
Minister of Health Supari had recently resumed sharing of
avian influenza samples with the USG and said the USG was
committed to expanding cooperation on this issue. He said
SBY's letter regarding Indonesia's Coral Triangle Initiative
had been sent to President Bush, along with additional
information from Minister of Fisheries Numberi. Finally, he
raised the question of attendance at President Bush's
September 7 ASEAN lunch in Sydney and participation in the
September 27-28 Conference of Major Economies in Washington.

7. (SBU) President Yudhoyono expressed his appreciation for
bilateral cooperation on avian influenza, including sample
sharing, and his view that it should continue. He explained
that he could not attend the September 7 lunch in Sydney
because he was committed to host Russian President Putin in
Jakarta, a commitment which prevented his departure prior to
10:00 am on September 7. After noting that he would travel
to New York on September 24 for a UN meeting on environmental
issues and the start of the UNGA, he said Indonesia would be
represented at a senior level at the September 27-28 White
House Conference of Major Economies. He conveyed a strong
personal interest in climate change issues, including the
preservation of coral reefs.

Value of Educational Exchanges
------------------------------

JAKARTA 00002322 002.2 OF 002


8. (SBU) SBY stressed how convinced he was of the benefits of
educational exchanges. He pointed out that, while serving in
the Indonesian army, he had been sent to schools in the
United States six times, and "at last I got my masters
degree." He thanked the Ambassador for USG support and
funding given for student exchanges, including the AFS
programs, and stated he hoped such programs could be expanded.
HUME

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