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Cablegate: Advancing Our Agenda If President Obama Postpones

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJA #1640 2740635
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010635Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3447
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001640

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP A/S CAMPBELL, DAS MARCIEL
NSC FOR AMBASSADOR BADER
DEPT ALSO EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OVIP ID
SUBJECT: ADVANCING OUR AGENDA IF PRESIDENT OBAMA POSTPONES

1. (SBU) Summary. President Obama has informed President Yudhoyono
that he must postpone his visit to Indonesia to next year, according
to a credible Embassy contact. The reason: the President would like
to bring his family and spend a few days. If true, we should find a
way to make this news public as soon as possible, perhaps through a
Presidential interview with an Indonesian journalist. We must also
continue to press for concrete progress on a number of issues: the
Peace Corps, an OPIC agreement, the science and technology
agreement, the MCC Compact, Environmental Protection Agency
cooperation, trade and investment, and the Bali Democracy Forum. A
series of upcoming visits by senior officials provides opportunities
to deliver these items. End Summary.

----------------------
Delivering the Message
----------------------

2. (SBU) According to a businessman accompanying President Yudhoyono
to the G20 summit, President Obama informed President Yudhoyono that
he would not visit Indonesia in November. President Obama
reportedly said that he wanted to visit Indonesia next year during
the school holidays so that he and his family could spend a few days
in Indonesia.

3. (SBU) If this report is correct, we must find a way to announce
it publicly. Rumors are already circulating that President Obama
will not come. Many of these rumors link the cancellation to
security concerns. Delay of an announcement of the postponement
will only engender more rumors and conspiracy theories, none of
which are likely to be flattering to the U.S. An announcement that
he is postponing his trip so that he can bring his family and spend
more time here, however, will resonate positively.

4. (SBU) The ideal announcement would come from the President
himself, perhaps in an exclusive interview with either the VOA or an
Indonesian television reporter. The message should be simple: The
President is disappointed he can't visit in November. Given his
tight schedule, he would have only been able to visit Indonesian
very briefly. He postponed his visit until next year so he can
spend more time and bring his family along. We have sent to EAP a
draft op-ed for Indonesian newspapers and would appreciate its
clearance.

-------------------------
Managing the Relationship
-------------------------

5. (SBU) The planned November visit served as a catalyst on a number
of issues, including the Peace Corps, an OPIC agreement, a science
and technology agreement, and the Bali Democracy Forum and on
Interfaith Dialogue. Despite the postponement, we must continue to
press for progress on each of these. We must show Indonesia that
our overall objective is to build a partnership, not just have
Presidential deliverables. Indonesia places great value in
negotiating a comprehensive partnership document. We should agree
on the text of this document as soon as possible.

6. (SBU) But we must also work on specific items. We would welcome
a visit this fall by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Lisa Jackson to announce increased partnership on environmental
issues. Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams plans visit Asia in
November; we should aim to have him sign the Peace Corps agreement
in Jakarta then. Under Secretary Hormats plans to attend the APEC
Summit in November; a visit here would give him the opportunity to
look at how we can partner with Indonesian in the G20. He may also
be able to sign the OPIC and science and technology agreements and
announce the placement of an MCC national coordinator in Indonesia.
Under Secretary Burns has tentative plans to visit in December; we
should tie his visit into the Bali Democracy Forum, use the
opportunity to advance our new Burma approach, and continue to
pursue an Interfaith Dialogue with Indonesia. Finally, USTR should
consider coming to Indonesia for the next round of Trade and
Investment Framework Agreement talks in order to advance the
economic pillar of the comprehensive partnership.

OSIUS

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