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Cablegate: Asean Charter On Track, Increased Dialogue with U.S. Urged

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RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2436/01 2480138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050138Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6066
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0734
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1106
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1712
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002436

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DEPT PASS USTR FOR KATZ AND BROOKS
DEPT FOR EAP/RSP and EAP/MTS
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DEPT ALSO FOR OES/IET AND OES/ETC/TED
TREASURY FOR IA-SETH SEARLS
COMMERCE FOR 4430/GOLIKE

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD PHUM PREL PGOV ID
SUBJECT: ASEAN CHARTER ON TRACK, INCREASED DIALOGUE WITH U.S. URGED


1. (SBU) Summary. DAS Marciel emphasized U.S. interest in engaging
ASEAN during meetings August 27-28 with ASEAN Deputy Secretary
General Nicholas Dammen and Indonesian Foreign Ministry Director
General for ASEAN Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani. The officials
underscored that ASEAN is entering a qualitatively different era: it
has finalized the economic blueprint and will have a Charter ready
for signature by the ASEAN Summit in November. They called for
increased cooperation and dialogue, regretted the delay in the
U.S.-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, and expressed hope that ASEAN can
influence positive movement in Burma. End Summary.


Get on Board: ASEAN Charter, Economic Integration on Track
--------------------------------------------- ---------

2. (SBU) Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Scot Marciel underscored
U.S. interest in ASEAN when he met August 27-28 with ASEAN Deputy
Secretary General (DSG) Nicholas Dammen and Indonesian Foreign

SIPDIS
Ministry Director General for ASEAN Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani. They
both welcomed U.S. engagement and underscored that ASEAN is entering
a qualitatively different era. Both officials were certain that
ASEAN will have a Charter ready for signature at the ASEAN Summit in
Singapore in November. DG Djani, however, noted that member
countries are still deliberating over the Charter's chapter on ASEAN
as an organization (structure, size, competencies). DG Djani
asserted that "now is the time to bet on ASEAN", both politically
and economically, and that the E.U., Japan, and others were
acknowledging this by negotiating FTAs with ASEAN. Djani also
asserted, "ASEAN is the cornerstone of Indonesia's foreign policy".


3. (SBU) DSG Dammen confirmed that the ASEAN Economic Ministers
Meeting finalized the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint for
November) in Manila last week. He noted that ASEAN has to be
flexible during economic integration toward ASEAN's second tier
countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), but that any FTA has
to include all 10 member countries. Dammen commented that ASEAN
would like an FTA with the U.S., which DAS Marciel noted would be a
very difficult and detailed process if undertaken. When DAS Marciel
asked whether ASEAN is interested in an Asia-Pacific FTA, Dammen
informed him that ASEAN has not yet discussed the idea seriously.
Dammen also suggested that negotiating current and future FTAs would
help move ASEAN eventually to a customs union. He acknowledged,
however, that ASEAN first has to improve its overall investment
climate, including for intra-ASEAN investment, for example in
telecommunications.

Let's Ramp up Dialogue: the Commemorative Summit and ICM
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (SBU) Both officials wanted to know when and where the U.S.-ASEAN
Commemorative Summit would take place. DSG Dammen suggested that
they preferred a U.S. location but emphasized that having the Summit
is the most important thing (not the location). DG Djani noted that
the Summit would help maintain momentum in U.S.-ASEAN relations.
They both emphasized the importance of people-to-people contacts,
including through scholarship programs like the Fulbright. DAS
Marciel affirmed USG commitment to continue developing its
substantive program of cooperation with ASEAN, and stressed that we
are continuing to explore possible dates and locations for the
Summit.

Democracy in ASEAN, Burma
-------------------------

5. (SBU) DAS Marciel praised the dynamism of the region as a whole
(including progress on the Charter), with the notable exception of
Burma. He stressed the importance of ASEAN as a whole, as well as
individual ASEAN countries, continuing to press the regime for
progress. DG Djani emphasized Indonesia's commitment to democracy
and admitted that ASEAN's constructive engagement with Burma's
rulers has been difficult. He expressed optimism, however, about
ASEAN's continuing engagement with Burma on the issue of democratic
reform, noting that sanctions cannot change the regime and that the
recent agreement on a human rights mechanism for the Charter shows

JAKARTA 00002436 002 OF 002


how ASEAN can influence its constituent countries. Both Djani and
DSG Dammen noted that ASEAN would continue to be consensus-driven,
but that this can also influence positive change.

6. (U) DAS Marciel has cleared this telegram.

HUME

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