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NEWS | Oct. 30, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo And Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi

By Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- REMARKS TO THE PRESS; MICHAEL R. POMPEO. MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the joint press statement will now start.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARSUDI: Your Excellency Secretary Pompeo, colleagues from the media, ladies and gentlemen. Secretary Pompeo, dear Mike, welcome back to —

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARSUDI: — Jakarta. It is always an honor for me to have you back in Indonesia after your last visit two years ago. We value your visit amidst this challenging time of pandemic. It reflects your strong commitment to enhance bilateral relation with Indonesia. The U.S. is a strategic partner for Indonesia, a partnership that is based on many shares values such as democracy, human rights, promoting tolerance and diversity, and respect for rules of law. It is a partnership between equals, this our mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Colleagues from the media, Secretary Pompeo and I met on an important day today. Muslim around the world celebrate Mawlid al Nabi Muhammad, salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wa salaam – the birth of Prophet Muhammad. My meeting with Secretary Pompeo went very well and productive in a very transparent and cordial environment. I reiterated the principle of free and independent foreign policy of Indonesia. I re-emphasized the need to pursue inclusive cooperation amidst this challenging time, and I underlined the need for every country to be part of the solution in the collective contribution toward world peace, stability, and prosperity.

On bilateral side, we agreed to enhance our strategic partnership by amplifying our shares values and interests while respecting our differences. We agreed to promote cooperation on health sector. I thank the U.S. Government for the cooperation with Indonesia during the pandemic, including through provision of 1,000 ventilators. I also reiterated the importance of building national and regional health resilience as the U.S. could play major role to support this effort.

We agreed to strengthen economic cooperation, particularly to strengthen global supply chain and expedite economic recovery. In this regard, I underlined again the importance of GSP facilities that not only bring benefits for Indonesia, but also for U.S. businesses. I encourage U.S. businesses to invest more in Indonesia, including for projects in the outer islands of Indonesia, such as in Natuna Island.

On defense cooperation, our minister – Indonesian Minister of Defense has visited the U.S. this month and met with various U.S. counterpart, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense. In the meeting, they agreed to enhance defense cooperation, including by strengthening defense capabilities and military procurement to achieve minimum essential force, training and exercises, intelligence sharings, and maritime security cooperation in the region. With regard to people-to-people contact, we agreed to deepen mutually understanding between our two countries, and in this regard I encourage the finalization of the Memorandum of Understanding on education. And I raised issue on visa for Indonesian students that has been on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic.

On the regional multilateral aspect, I raised the importance of strengthening multilateralism that brings benefit to all countries. I mentioned the commitment of Indonesia and ASEAN in maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, as clearly reflected in the ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement on the 8th August 2020. For more than 50 years, ASEAN have played a very significant role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. We are committed to promote the Indo-Pacific cooperation that is open, inclusive, transparent, and rules-based. I share a number of activities we are pursuing in developing a platform to promote dialogues and cooperation under the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

We discussed the situation in the South China Sea. For Indonesia, South China Sea should be maintained as a stable and peaceful sea. International law, in particular UNCLOS 1982, must be respected and implemented. Therefore, any claims should be based on universally recognized principle of international law, including UNCLOS 1982.

We discussed the issue of Palestine. I mentioned that this issue is close to the heart of Indonesian people. I reiterated Indonesian position of the issue, including the principle of the two-state solution. Also, we agreed to strengthen cooperation on the UN peacekeeping operation, including empowerment of female peacekeepers. And as a reflection of our commitment to PKO, I give one example that Indonesia is ready to maintain its navy vessel in Lebanon for another six months.

And last but not least, we discussed also our collaboration in Afghanistan. We appreciate the leadership of U.S. to bring peace in Afghanistan, and Indonesia stands ready to contribute more, in particular on the issue or issue related to women empowerment.

Now I would like to invite Secretary Pompeo to share his remarks. Mike, you have the floor.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much. Madam Minister, thank you. Hello, everyone. It’s great to see you again, and it’s wonderful to be back here in Indonesia. I visited here early in my tenure as Secretary of State, but once was certainly not enough. Good to be back. It was important for me to return to keep strengthening this foundational, pivotal relationship in Southeast Asia.

And Madam Minister, I want to say to you how much I’ve appreciated your engagement on the Afghanistan peace process. You mentioned this at the end of your remarks – indeed, the world’s largest majority-Muslim country has much to offer Afghanistan on its road to peace and making sure that every Afghan, men and women, have all the rights to which they are rightly deserving.

We had a very productive set of discussions today. Of course we started by talking about what’s affecting everyone in the world today, the pandemic that started in Wuhan. I want to assure the Indonesian people that we’ll get through this difficult time together. We’ve been proud to provide roughly $11 million in U.S. Government assistance, part of the more than $20 billion the United States has pledged around the world of public and private money for the global COVID response. This is by far the most in the world. We continue to stay very focused on this important global issue.

But perhaps more importantly, the American private sector is doing everything it can do to produce an effective vaccine and therapeutics to beat this terrible virus, to the benefit of both of our peoples and indeed to the world. Look, it’s very natural that we work together. As I’ll elaborate on it in my speech later today, our deeper, longer-term bonds unite us as friends. We are vibrant, diverse democracies, and we honor religious freedom. We respect freedom of the seas, sovereignty, and the rule of law. These are shared visions for the world. Today, Foreign Minister Retno and I affirmed the importance of keeping our shared values at the heart of our relationship and at the heart of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Look, this starts with our economic ties. We agreed that the two nations with economies the scale of ours, the size of ours should be doing much more trade together. There should be much more investment here from the United States, especially in the digital, energy, and infrastructure sectors. I’ll do my best to help deliver that. A few weeks back now, the head of our Development Finance Corporation was in conversations, too. We are poised to use that American tool to promote private sector investment that can support President Widodo’s plans to spend $327 billion on more than 250 infrastructure projects.

But as I say in most every country looking to create wealth for its people, the private sector needs the right incentives before it can jump in. Indonesia’s reform agenda is helpful in this regard. We hope you’ll keep taking steps to cut red tape, eliminate corruption, and increase transparency.

We spent time, after talking about the economy, on security. Our law-abiding nations reject the unlawful claims made by the Chinese Communist Party in the South China Sea, as is clear from Indonesia’s courageous leadership on the subject within ASEAN and at the United Nations. It’s a cause worth pursuing in multilateral settings, and the Trump administration very much supports this. We also welcome the example Indonesia has set with decisive action to safeguard its maritime sovereignty around the Natuna Islands. I’m looking forward to cooperating together in the new ways to ensure maritime security and protect some of the world’s busiest trade routes.

Now, two decades of cooperation on counterterrorism also reflect our capacity to work together to import democratic values in our two countries. Indonesia has long been a model for prosecuting the fight against terrorism and has done so in a way that didn’t trample on civil liberties, and I urge the continuance of that approach. I also commended Indonesia’s strong example for the region in its gracious reception of the range of refugees here and to its shores.

On behalf of President Trump and the American people, we are grateful for Indonesia’s bonds of friendship and freedom. Let’s keep working on this to strengthen them. Thank you very much, Madam Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARSUDI: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mike.

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