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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Special Representative to Muslim

VZCZCXRO2337
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #2027/01 3440955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 100955Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4103
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 002027

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/R PANDITH
DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, DRL, DRL/IRF
NSC FOR D. WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KISL ID
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO MUSLIM
COMMUNITIES FARAH PANDITH'S VISIT TO INDONESIA

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

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Mission Jakarta warmly welcomes your
visit. Ten years of political and economic reform have made
Indonesia democratic, stable, and increasingly confident
about its leadership role in Southeast Asia. Indonesia has
held free and fair elections; has weathered the global
financial crisis; and is tackling internal security threats.
President Obama's popularity is high and Indonesia is working
to improve relations with the U.S. via the developing
Comprehensive Partnership. Indonesia is the world's largest
Muslim-majority nation and is active in international Muslim
circles. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and
that commitment is largely honored in practice. END SUMMARY.

BILATERAL RELATIONS CONTINUE TO DEEPEN

3. (SBU) Your visit comes at a turning point in
U.S.-Indonesia relations. The GOI views the establishment of
the bilateral Comprehensive Partnership as a way to deepen
engagement with the United States across the board on the
basis of a relationship between true partners. The success
of Indonesia's democratization and reform process and its
inclusion in the G-20 have given the country new confidence.
This confidence can help the United States work better with
Indonesia to achieve our aims in Asia and elsewhere.

4. (SBU) Under President Yudhoyono, the GOI has made
significant efforts to play a more prominent and constructive
role in regional and global affairs. The Indonesian military
has taken on peacekeeping duties in Lebanon, Sudan, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yudhoyono has staked out
an ambitious position putting Indonesia in the front ranks on
climate change among developing countries. As home of the
ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta seeks a greater leadership role in
ASEAN, and it is succeeding. The GOI spearheaded efforts to
enshrine democracy and human rights in the ASEAN Charter.
Indonesia has played an important but largely
behind-the-scenes role in encouraging democracy and human
rights in Burma.

THE COMPREHENSIVE PARTNERSHIP

5. (SBU) President Yudhoyono proposed that the U.S. and
Indonesia launch a Strategic Partnership (later referred to
as a Comprehensive Partnership) in his November 2008 speech
in Washington. Secretary Clinton's visit in February 2009
began a dialogue with Indonesians about the key elements of
that partnership. The absence of a November POTUS visit to
Jakarta, which Indonesians both inside and outside government
highly anticipated, has slowed the pace of progress on the
Partnership but not GOI enthusiasm.

6. (SBU) Even without a presidential visit this year, key
elements of the Comprehensive Partnership are moving forward
including cooperation on climate change, an Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC) incentive agreement, an
interfaith working group event and, possibly, Indonesian
training of Afghan police. Under a Comprehensive
Partnership, we will strengthen Indonesia's democratic
institutions and capacity to promote democracy beyond its
borders.

7. (SBU) The Partnership will also allow us to expand our
already robust regional security cooperation and deepen our
cooperation with the Indonesian military to enhance its
capability to provide disaster relief and participate in
international peacekeeping operations. We will promote the
people-to-people ties that are critical to the success of our
Partnership, including expanding education cooperation. In
addition to our discussions with the Indonesians on their
commitments to reduce emissions from deforestation, our
cooperation is deepening on food security focusing on
fisheries and on combating emerging and tropical disease
whose spread will be exacerbated by climate change in this
region.

ISLAM IN INDONESIA

8. (SBU) Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority
nation and eager to promote its image as a religiously
pluralistic society. Indonesia's Constitution guarantees

JAKARTA 00002027 002 OF 003


freedom of religion, although it officially recognizes only
five religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism,
Hinduism, and Islam). Religious freedom is largely
respected. Much of the sectarian violence that plagued
Indonesia in the past, particularly in Sulawesi and the
Malukus, has declined as religious leaders and local
authorities have taken steps toward rebuilding and
reconciliation. That said, the Islamic sect Ahmadiyya, with
around 400,000 followers, is prohibited from proselytizing
and has been declared "deviant" by national decree.

9. (SBU) Only Aceh province is governed by Sharia law
(Islamic jurisprudence). In September, Aceh passed a law
that made adultery an offense punishable by stoning. The law
is not yet in effect. In part due to international pressure,
national officials plan to file a Constitutional appeal. A
more moderate Aceh Parliament, installed in October, will
likely review the law and the Governor has said he will not
sign nor implement the law. Local governments in other areas
of Indonesia have issued as many as 100 Sharia-inspired
regulations, on issues such as alcohol consumption, gambling,
and attire, although the regulations are not regularly or
consistently enforced. Local human rights groups have urged
the government to review all Sharia-inspired local ordinances.

10. (SBU) Mainstream Islamic political parties have seen
their support decline in recent elections. These parties
still remain influential on the political scene, although
secular-oriented parties maintain the most influence. There
are other small groups. Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) is one
of the most active radical Islamist groups in Indonesia. HTI
is a transnational movement which advocates the imposition of
Islamic law and the return of the Islamic "Caliphate." Its
support in Indonesia comes primarily from urban middle-class
intellectuals and university students and it is estimated to
have around 50,000 active members and 1.5 million
sympathizers.

INTERFAITH EVENT

11. (SBU) Indonesia proposed and will host the first
Indonesian - U.S. Interfaith Working Group, January 25-27, in
Jakarta, promoting the President's goal of "turning dialogue
into interfaith service." U/S Burns' counterpart will
announce this event during Burns' December 10-11 visit to
Indonesia. We hope this dialogue will help build cooperative
networks across faith communities and civil society in our
countries and the region, leading to future collaboration.
We want this to be not just a discussion, but to result in
concrete actions that benefit Indonesia and the U.S.
Indonesia, as the world's largest Muslim-majority country,
and one that successfully advances open religious pluralism,
is an excellent launching point for this kind of dialogue,
and the GOI has made such dialogues a priority.

OVERCOMING SECURITY THREATS

12. (SBU) Indonesia still faces a terrorism problem. The
GOI's response to the July 17 terrorist attacks was swift and
effective. While the GOI is pursuing a few remaining
associates of militant ringleader Noordin Top, the killing of
eight July 17 operatives, including Top, and the arrest of 11
others appears to have severely crippled Top's network. The
GOI has heightened security nationwide and the INP continues
to combat terrorism. Until the July 17 bombings, Indonesia
experienced three-and-a-half years without a major terrorist
incident, demonstrating how the GOI's counterterrorism
efforts reduced the ability of militant groups to carry out
attacks.

13. (SBU) U.S. assistance has been a component of the GOI's
success in counter-terrorism strikes. The Embassy has worked
to build the investigative support for and forensic
capabilities of the National Police through numerous
development programs administered by the Department of
Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training and
Assistance Program. The Indonesian National Police,
including elements of the Diplomatic Security's
Anti-Terrorism Assistance (DS/ATA) trained Special Detachment
88, has effectively disrupted the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)
terrorist network. The USG-funded Attorney General's Task
Force on Terrorism and Transnational Crime has successfully
prosecuted 64 terrorists, including 43 JI members since 2006.

JAKARTA 00002027 003 OF 003

WE WELCOME YOU

14. (SBU) Again, we very much welcome you to Indonesia.
Your trip to Solo, Central Java will provide you an
opportunity to see a region where Muslims and minority groups
have markedly improved relations in the past several years
thanks in part to a dynamic Mayor and other local leadership.
Your visit to Jakarta will allow you to meet with key
Indonesians and others to discuss Muslim engagement,
religious freedom and other topics salient to the emerging
Comprehensive Partnership.

HUME

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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