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Cablegate: Mgpk02 -- Indonesian Reaction to Bhutto

VZCZCXRO0814
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #3480 3620727
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 280727Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7516
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0457
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1502
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1822
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1366
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2202
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS JAKARTA 003480

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, SCA, SCA/PB, S/CT
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV ID PK
SUBJECT: MGPK02 -- INDONESIAN REACTION TO BHUTTO
ASSASSINATION

REF: STATE 170405

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

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Indonesian President Yudhoyono has
expressed shock at the news of Benazir Bhutto's
assassination, strongly condemning the attack. Other members
of the GOI--as well as legislators--have also condemned the
killing. The Indonesian media was full of news re the event,
which has cast a real pall among Indonesians involved in
international relations. END SUMMARY.

3. (U) SBY SHOCKED: In a press conference held late
December 27, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the
assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto. A somber Yudhoyono went on to state that he hoped
that the situation in Pakistan "calms down" soon and that the
process of democratic transition continued. He also stated:
"The Indonesian government offers condolences to the family
and the nation of Pakistan. We hope that security and order
can be restored, laws enforced, and democracy respected."

4. (U) Also speaking for the Palace, Presidential spokesman
Dino Djalal noted that the governments of Indonesia and
Pakistan maintained good relations, and that he fully
expected that relationship to continue. He went on to say
that the GOI appreciated Pakistan's efforts to include
opposition candidates in its general elections, adding that
he hoped that the transition to democracy continued despite
the killing of Bhutto. He added: "We hope security in
Pakistan is under control and other major tragedies can be
avoided."

5. (SBU) OTHER REACTION: Indonesia's Department of Foreign
Affairs (DEPLU) has not yet made an official statement on
Bhutto's murder, but individual members of parliament (DPR)
have condemned the attack. Theo Sambuaga, Chair of the DPR
committee on foreign and defense affairs, told Pol/C that he
had met Bhutto on several occasions. He noted that the
assassination was a blow to democracy in Pakistan and to
democracy in the Muslim world. He went on to state that
President Musharraf should open an investigation into what
happened immediately. DPR member Alvin Lee of the PAN party
(National Mandate Party) condemned the assassination in the
"strongest possible terms."

6. (U) MEDIA REACTION: Indonesian television has been full
of news about the assassination. Newspapers gave the killing
banner headlines, with stories basically focused on the facts
of the assassination. There was little commentary, so far,
given that the event has just taken place.

7. (SBU) CASTING A PALL: Though both are large
Muslim-dominated countries, Indonesia's links with Pakistan
are not particularly strong. That said, Bhutto--as a world
and Islamic leader--was well known here (she visited
Indonesia as Prime Minister in 1996). Her death has cast a
real pall among Indonesians involved in international
relations.

HUME

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