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Cablegate: Death of Former Fm Ali Alatas: Suggested

VZCZCXRO3553
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2232/01 3460927
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110927Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0922
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5717
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3389
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 1481
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2500
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5217
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2831
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 3322
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 3155
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 1329
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0998
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002232

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/ES-O, EAP, EAP/MLS, EAP/MTS
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV OVIP ID
SUBJECT: DEATH OF FORMER FM ALI ALATAS: SUGGESTED
STATEMENT AND CONDOLENCE LETTER

REF: EMBASSY JAKARTA-S/ES-O TELCON DECEMBER 11

JAKARTA 00002232 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This is an Action Request. Please see paras 6-7.

2. (U) SUMMARY: Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali
Alatas died of a heart attack in the early morning of
Thursday, December 11, 2008. A seminal figure in the history
of Asian diplomacy, Alatas will be buried early on December
12, 2008, in Jakarta. The Ambassador will attend the funeral
and recommends that the Secretary issue a statement hailing
Alatas's achievements and send a letter of condolence to FM
Wirajuda. Suggested text for these messages follow. END
SUMMARY.

A SEMINAL FIGURE

3. (U) Former FM Ali Alatas died of a heart attack in a
Singapore hospital early December 11. He will be buried in
an official ceremony on December 12 at the National Heroes'
Cemetery in Jakarta. Ambassador Hume plans to attend the
funeral. Alatas was 76 years of age and is survived by his
wife and three children. The GOI has not yet announced plans
for any additional memorial service.

4. (U) Alatas served as FM from 1988 until 1999 and played a
key role managing Indonesia's foreign relations. He led
Indonesia's establishment of diplomatic relations with the
People's Republic of China in 1989. He also successfully
helped broker the 1991 Cambodia peace accord. Alatas also
managed what was perhaps Indonesia's most difficult foreign
policy challenge--the independence of East Timor. He
provided a steady hand in foreign policy during the
uncertainty that accompanied the fall of Suharto.

5. (U) After he left office, Alatas remained active in
foreign affairs. He served as President Yudhoyono's Special
Envoy on Burma and pressed the regime to undertake democratic
reforms, and to release political prisoners. He served on
the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group and was one of the GOI's
foremost advisers on ASEAN and Indonesia's bilateral
relations with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

ACTION REQUESTS

6. (U) The Ambassador recommends that the Secretary issue a
statement. Suggested text for this statement follows:

Begin text of statement:

Death of Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas

Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
December 11, 2008

The people of the United States and the world join
Indonesians in mourning the death of former Foreign Minister
Ali Alatas. He will be remembered for his tireless efforts
to ensure peace and security in Southeast Asia. He brokered
the historic 1991 Cambodian peace settlement and helped lead
ASEAN's effort to enshrine the values of democracy and
respect for human rights in the organization's Charter. Ali
Alatas was a friend of the United States and he provided wise
leadership amid the uncertainties of those historic months a
decade ago when Indonesia rejected authoritarian rule and
embraced democracy. On behalf of the United States, I extend
my deepest condolences to his family and to the people of
Indonesia at this time of loss.

End text of statement.

7. (U) Mission further recommends that the Secretary also
send a condolence message to Foreign Minister Wirajuda.
Proposed text for the Secretary's letter follows:

JAKARTA 00002232 002.2 OF 002

Begin text of letter:

Dear Mr. Minister,

On behalf of the United States, I want to express our deepest
sympathy on the death of former Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.

Ali Alatas worked tirelessly to promote our shared values of
freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. He
safeguarded Indonesia's place in the world and provided wise
leadership during Indonesia's transition to democracy. He
fought for democracy and justice in Burma. Finally, Ali
Alatas was a great friend of the United States and promoted
people-to-people ties between our two countries.

Please convey my sincere condolences to his many friends and
colleagues in Indonesia and, most of all, to his family.

Sincerely,
Condoleezza Rice

End text of letter.
HUME

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