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Cablegate: Peace Corps Agreement Reached with Indonesia

VZCZCXRO5710
OO RUEHJS
DE RUEHJA #1878 3160859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 120859Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3792
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
INFO RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2565
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6642

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001878

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, L, CA, P
DEPT PASS TO PEACE CORPS
SINGAPORE PASS NSC DELL WALTON

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: EAID USAID PREL PGOV CPAS ID
SUBJECT: Peace Corps Agreement Reached With Indonesia

REFTEL: STATE 0001861

1. (SBU) Summary: The United States and the Government of
Indonesia (GOI) reached an agreement on November 12 that will allow
Peace Corps to establish a program in Indonesia after a forty-year
absence. With this agreement, Peace Corps' return to Indonesia can
potentially be announced at President Obama and President
Yudhoyono's meeting at the APEC Summit in Singapore on November 15
as a concrete deliverable for the proposed U.S.-Indonesia
Comprehensive Partnership. There is only one remaining issue left
preventing implementation of the agreement. It can be resolved by
granting Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams' request that the State
Department issue Official Passports to Peace Corps Volunteers
assigned to Indonesia. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On November 11, Peace Corps officials reached agreement on
a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
with a GOI team led by Bunyan Saptomo, Director of North and Central
American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While both
sides acknowledge the need for internal procedural and
administrative reviews, Peace Corps and the GOI agreed that all
substantive, material issues are satisfactorily addressed by the
agreed upon text. Ambassador Retno Marsudi, Director General of
American and European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
informed Charge d'Affaires Ted Osius that she will recommend to
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on November 12 that the ad
referendum text be approved without the need for further substantive
discussions. Meanwhile Peace Corps Acting Director for Asia, David
Burgess, has stayed behind in Jakarta to be available to address any
unforeseen issues.

3. (SBU) The sole remaining hurdle for Peace Corps is to receive a
favorable response from the Department to Peace Corps' request to
issue Official Passports to Volunteers assigned to Indonesia (see
reftel). If this final issue is positively addressed, Peace Corps
can begin implementing a program with an initial group of twelve
education Volunteers as early as Spring 2010.

4. (SBU) Peace Corps' return to Indonesia, the world's third
largest democracy and largest Muslim-majority country, is long
overdue. The return of Peace Corps to Indonesia after forty-years
signifies a deepening of U.S.-Indonesia ties, and will, over time,
exert a profound and positive influence on how our two countries
relate to each other. And while there are no confirmed plans for
President Obama to visit Indonesia, President Yudhoyono has invited
him to visit in 2010 and an established Peace Corps program could be
a highlight of that trip.

OSIUS

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