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Cablegate: Next Steps Re U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit

VZCZCXRO2023
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0673/01 0940919
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030919Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8550
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2259
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1749
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2543
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 0676
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RULSAAV/NAVMEDRSCHCEN SILVER SPRING MD
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFISS/BUMED WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 000673

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, L, OES
NSC FOR E. PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR TBIO AMED ID
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS RE U.S. NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH UNIT

REF: JAKARTA 529 AND PREVIOUS

JAKARTA 00000673 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Please see Action Request in para 5.

2. (SBU) The Naval Medical Research Unit in Jakarta
(NAMRU-2) has just received a letter from the Indonesian
Ministry of Health (MOH) informing NAMRU that "all
studies/surveillance which include transfer of biological
specimens" must cease pending conclusion of the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) currently being negotiated between NAMRU
and the government of Indonesia. The letter, dated March 31,
is signed by Triono Soendoro, Director of the National
Institute of Health Research and Development within the MOH.
The text of the letter, which is in English, appears in para
6 below. Mission previously sent the letter by email to
Washington agencies and the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM).

3. (SBU) IMPACT: If implemented, this directive would
further limit NAMRU-2's ability to operate. NAMRU-MOH
cooperation is already restricted regarding avian influenza
due to the GOI,s position on sample sharing. The letter
would broaden that restriction to all biological specimens.

4. (SBU) CONTEXT: The letter comes after several months of
increasingly bizarre allegations by Indonesian Minister of
Health Supari about supposed U.S. intentions to misuse
Indonesian samples of avian influenza. According to reliable
official sources, the GOI is becoming tired of Supari's
allegations and the public misperceptions generated by her
remarks. This might be an opportune time to push for
conclusion of the MOU, which has been in negotiation now for
nearly two years. Resumption of the negotiations could be a
constructive way to widen the gap between Supari, a NAMRU
opponent, and President Yudhoyono, whose office has strongly
supported NAMRU. Conclusion of an MOU now would give
Supari's opponents a boost.

5. (SBU) RECOMMENDED ACTION: Mission repeats reftel request
for Washington action to conclude the inter-agency review of
the current Indonesia-proposed MOU text so that Mission can
resume negotiations with the GOI.

6. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF LETTER:

National Institute of Health Research and Development

T.R. Jones, Ph.D
Director of NAMRU 2
Jakarta

Dear Dr. Jones:

Subject: Temporary Cessation of Studies

As you may very well know, the collaboration between the
Government of Indonesia -- through the national Institute of
Health Research and Development -- with the government of the
United States of America -- through NAMRU-2, Jakarta -- in
research of infectious diseases was started since 1970. This
collaboration has been conducted in the spirit of mutually
beneficial, in order to enhance friendship and bilateral
cooperation between the two countries.

We are aware that in consideration of the positive outcomes,
both parties have agreed to continue this collaboration. The
new MOU, that is still being negotiated, contains -- among
others -- issues of studies/ surveillance which include
transfer of biological specimens.

According to the laws and regulations in Indonesia, each and
every transfer of biological specimens to foreign
institutions/countries must have a MTA (Material Transfer
Agreement) document. Therefore, since negotiation of the MOU
has not reached final decision yet, all studies/surveillance
conducted by NAMRU-2 -- both current and new proposals --
which involve specimens from various institutions in

JAKARTA 00000673 002.2 OF 002


Indonesia (Universities/Hospital/Health Centers, etc) have to
be ceased temporarily until the new MOU is signed.

Please be informed that we are asking all institutions in
Indonesia to terminate all collaboration which involves
transferring of biological specimens to NAMRU-2, unless a MTA
is signed for that purpose.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Triono Soendoro
(signature)

END TEXT.

HUME

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