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Cablegate: C-175 Authority Needed to Advance Namru

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJA #1980 3370743
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030743Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3991

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001980

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FROM AMBASSADOR HUME TO UNDER SECRETARY BURNS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PREL ID

SUBJECT: C-175 Authority Needed to Advance NAMRU

1. (SBU) Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Retno has
asked for a one-on-one meeting with you during your visit to discuss
the future of NAMRU. Your discussion will be most successful if you
can inform her that the State Department has issued Circular 175
authorization to negotiate the establishment of an Indonesia-United
States Center for Biomedical and Public Health Research (IUC).

2. (SBU) Visas for NAMRU personnel expire December 31. We
understand informally that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will
extend the visas one final time until March 31, 2010. Further
extensions for NAMRU personnel would not be possible, forcing NAMRU
to close down and its staff to depart. In September, HHS Secretary
Sebelius and then Health Minister Supari agreed to establish the IUC
under joint civilian control. The MOU establishing this center
would enable Naval medical personnel to obtain new visas and
continue their important work on emerging and infectious tropical
diseases. It would also provide a mechanism for the Center for
Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and other
government laboratories to engage with Indonesian on important
research.

3. (SBU) In order to negotiate the formation of the IUC before
NAMRU personnel are forced to leave at the end of March, we need
Circular 175 authorization now. HHS is coordinating the interagency
process. If we have Circular 175 authority, your message to
Ambassador Retno would be clear: we understand the political
sensitivity of this issue; we support the creation of the IUC as the
focal point of our future health cooperation; and we are ready to
begin negotiations immediately on the memorandum of understanding to
establish the IUC.

HUME

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