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Cablegate: Engaging Indonesia's New Legislators

VZCZCXRO4203
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #1866 3141047
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101047Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3780
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001866

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, H
NSC FOR D. WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM ID
SUBJECT: ENGAGING INDONESIA'S NEW LEGISLATORS

REF: JAKARTA 01837 AND PREVIOUS

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

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Indonesian Parliament Deputy Speaker
and five prominent legislators discussed with the DCM how
best to further strengthen U.S.-Indonesia relations, focusing
on defense, trade, and climate change. The legislators
thanked the USG for its good governance programs and for the
efforts of the U.S. Congress' House Democracy Partnership to
reach out to Indonesia. END SUMMARY.

MEETING NEW LAWMAKERS

3. (SBU) On November 4, the DCM met with the new Deputy
Speaker of Indonesia's Parliament (DPR) and five other
legislators from the commissions on foreign policy and
defense, trade and investment, and health. Priyo Budi
Santoso is considered the most influential of the four DPR
deputy speakers. Santoso emphasized that Parliament was
committed to further strengthening U.S.-Indonesia
collaboration. (Note: Indonesia's new Parliament was sworn
in on October 1. Over half of it members are new and Mission
has been working hard to engage the body--see reftels.)

PARTNERS IN DEMOCRACY BUILDING

4. (SBU) Mohammad Najib, Deputy Chair of the DPR
Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and member of DPR
Commission One, expressed his appreciation for U.S. support
of Indonesia's democratic development. (Note: Mission
engages closely with Commission One on foreign policy,
defense and information issues.) He said that U.S. NGOs,
such as the International Republican Institute and the
National Democratic Institute, were instrumental in training
Indonesia's young politicians. He explained that he had
participated in such training which prepared him well for his
current position.

5. (SBU) Najib and the DCM also discussed Indonesia's
democratic initiatives in the region. Najib was pleased to
learn that the U.S. was sending a senior-level representative
to the Bali Democracy Forum in December. DCM noted that
Indonesia's peaceful elections this year were a significant
milestone for its young democracy, and an example for other
countries in the region and internationally.

REQUEST FOR EVEN STRONGER COOPERATION

6. (SBU) The legislators focused their remarks on security,
trade, and climate change topics. They urged the USG to
consider more training and exchange programs for the
Indonesian armed forces. Legislators from Commission Six
(trade, industry, investment) asked that the U.S. expand
investment beyond oil and gas to the manufacturing and high
technology fields. They stressed that U.S.-Indonesian
bilateral trade could be increased significantly beyond its
current level of $21 billion and that an important first step
would be to make it easier for Indonesian businesspeople to
get U.S. visas. Legislators would also like to see a
concrete assistance program to promote Indonesia's small and
medium entrepreneurs. The DCM agreed that we should build a
relationship which responded to real opportunities in trade
and investment.

MOVING FORWARD

7. (SBU) The legislators indicated that a key element of
U.S. engagement with Parliament was through the exchanges and
training provided by the U.S. Congress' House Democracy
Partnership. They welcomed further opportunities to engage
directly with members of Congress on technical and policy
issues. The DCM underscored that we welcomed further
engagement with Parliament, and would work to find
opportunities to discuss and consult on key issues.
HUME

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