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Cablegate: Codel Price Follow-On: Leveraging Congressional

VZCZCXRO8296
PP RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0391/01 0580943
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270943Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8114
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4750
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2054
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1604
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 3678
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1566
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2358
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2438
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 0580

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 000391

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR EAP A/S HILL AND H A/S BERGNER FROM AMBASSADOR HUME;
ALSO PASS TO EAP DAS MARCIEL AND EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV OVIP ID
SUBJECT: CODEL PRICE FOLLOW-ON: LEVERAGING CONGRESSIONAL
INTEREST IN INDONESIA

REF: JAKARTA 372

JAKARTA 00000391 001.2 OF 002


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

2. (SBU) Assistant Secretaries: Representative David Price
(D-NC) recently led a House Democracy Assistance Commission
(HDAC) delegation to Indonesia (reftel). While the focus of
the visit was on legislative strengthening exercises with the
parliament, Mission also sought to leverage the visit to call
attention to the importance and depth of our bilateral
relationship with Indonesia. Our visitors were receptive to
this message and signaled interest in a long-term dialogue on
Indonesia. They also expressed a number of specific
interests of relevance to the Department as it engages the
Hill on the full range of issues. I would like to share some
of those identified interests as I believe they will help
inform follow-on conversations with our friends on the Hill
about Indonesia, as well as about the Department's work more
broadly. A full list of CODEL participants is included in
paragraph 12.

3. (SBU) As reported in Ref A, CODEL Price visited Indonesia
as part of HDAC's legislative assistance program. This was
the third HDAC visit to Indonesia in two years and the HDAC
program here has already yielded significant results. Among
other things, during the course of this visit HDAC and the
Indonesian parliament signed an MOU that formalizes training
and information exchanges between the two legislatures.

4. (SBU) HDAC Chairman Price, in particular, quickly
underscored his commitment to the spirit of the MOU by
signaling his intent to dispatch a legislative drafting staff
delegation to Indonesia to assist the Indonesian parliament's
undermanned legislative drafting body. The visit could take
place as soon as May of this year. All of the Members also
demonstrated great enthusiasm for the possibility of
internship or fellowship programs that could bring qualified
graduate students to work as staffers or legislative staff
with the Indonesian parliament. USAID involvement in such a
program was discussed as a possibility.

5. (SBU) Above and beyond their legislative strengthening
program here, I also had occasion to brief our Congressional
visitors on USG efforts to define a "strategic center" to
U.S.-Indonesian relations. This "strategic center" would
encompass three areas: 1. Reform--How does the U.S. support
the massive reform efforts underway in Indonesia? 2.
Security--How do we develop a stronger relationship with both
the police and the military? 3. Connections--How do we
encourage Indonesia to open up to the outside world? This
briefing led to a spirited discussion on a range of issues of
importance to Mission and the Department more broadly.

6. (SBU) Representative McDermott (D-WA), a physician by
trade, expressed grave concerns about the spread of the avian
influenza (H5NI) virus in Indonesia. McDermott later
articulated those same concerns in a meeting with President
Yudhoyono (reftel), urging the President to share avian
influenza samples with the international community.
McDermott also related his interest in the renewable energies
sector, noting that his son heads US Renewables Group, an
asset management group based in Los Angeles.

7. (SBU) Representative Farr (D-CA), a former Peace Corps
volunteer, inquired about plans for a renewed Peace Corps
presence in Indonesia. Farr identified himself as an
unabashed Peace Corps supporter and expressed his hope that
the Peace Corps would re-establish a footprint in Indonesia
as soon as possible. As a member of the Homeland Security
Subcommittee, Farr also asked for Mission's thoughts on the
viability of an IMET like program for Homeland Security.

8. (SBU) Representative Price, in addition to sharing his
enthusiasm for extensive legislative links between the U.S.
and Indonesia, also demonstrated a keen interest in the
Indonesian legislature's civilian oversight of the Indonesian
military. He spoke extensively about the importance of such
oversight and held a long conversation with the Indonesian

JAKARTA 00000391 002.2 OF 002


legislature's Defense Chair on the subject.

9. (SBU) Representative Hirono (D-HI) showed great interest
in the full range of women's issues. From the participation
of women in Indonesian politics, to Indonesian social and
cultural attitudes towards women, she was very engaged in
women's issues at every turn.

10. (SBU) Throughout CODEL Price's five-day visit to Aceh and
Jakarta, I was continually struck by the palpable enthusiasm
and interest in Indonesian affairs shown by our Congressional
visitors. The United States has a remarkable opportunity to
help this country of over 240 million people secure a bright
future, while building the foundation for a long-term
partnership in a strategic corner of the world. We believe
the Congressional visitors that visited Indonesia with CODEL
Price share this vision for our relationship with Indonesia
and will be receptive to further engagement with the
Department as we look for ways to move forward USG
legislative priorities for Indonesia.

11. (U) Mission would be pleased to provide additional
information and looks forward to assisting in ongoing
contacts with key interlocutors. Regards, Cameron.

12. (U) A listing of Congressional participants with CODEL
Price:

Representatives:
David Price (D-NC)
John Boozman (D-AR)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Michael Conaway (R-TX)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)

House Staff:
Dr. Kay King, Director, Interparliamentary Affairs
Tommy Ross, Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. David Price
Rachael Leman, Policy Director, Office of Rep. David Dreier
John Lis, Staff Director, HDAC
Dick Nanto, Specialist in Industry and Trade, CRS
Hannah Fischer, Information Research Specialist, CRS

End.
HUME

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