Obama, Yudhoyono meet in Washington
Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2010) – President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono and his delegation held a bilateral meeting over breakfast last week, just prior to the G20 Summit at the Toronto Convention Center. They spoke afterward about the development of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.
Obama expressed his regret that the talks were not being held in Jakarta, as planned, until the unexpected oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico forced a delay of the Southeast Asia and Australia trip. He emphasized the friendship between Indonesia and the United States is strong, and that it is their intention make it even stronger.
He said that G20 cooperation has brought the world economy back to stabilize, and that Yudhoyono said that economic growth, employment, inflation is now back to pre-crisis levels in Indonesia.
The two said they were particularly interested in working together to create a climate change study center in Indonesia to support the region and the world in this effort. The U.S. is pledging an additional $160 million into joint programs that can enhance cooperation on educating youth as part of future development goals.
“So I just want to once again thank the President for his graciousness, his cooperation, and reaffirm the great friendship between our two countries,” said Obama.
Yudhoyono said that Indonesia and America have a comprehensive and transforming partnership to help meet the challenges of the 21st century, that of “promoting peace, reforming the world economy, addressing climate change, as well as promoting harmony among civilizations.”
“A stable, dynamic, and strong relations between Indonesia and the U.S. is good for our region and for our world,” said Yudhoyono. “I appreciate the leadership of President Barack Obama and I thank to him for his friendship and goodwill toward Indonesia.”
The U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership is a long-term commitment by Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono to broaden, deepen and elevate bilateral relations between the United States and Indonesia.
It recognizes the global significance of enhanced cooperation between the world’s second and third largest democracies, the tremendous possibilities for economic and development cooperation, and the importance of fostering exchanges and mutual understanding between two of the world’s most diverse nations.
Work began on the Partnership in mid-2009, and since then a Peace Corps program was launched to promote a better understanding between the Indonesian and American people. Another agreement was signed for Science and Technology Cooperation and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation on dynamic sectors of the relationship.
The U.S. Department of Defense and the Indonesian Ministry of Defense signed a Framework Arrangement on Cooperative Activities in the Field of Defense that will enhance the quality of security cooperation. Most recently, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Hochberg announced in Jakarta on June 18 a $1 billion credit facility in partnership with 11 Indonesian banks to facilitate bilateral trade.
Obama said there is an unprecedented high-level consultation and engagement on bilateral, regional, and global issues – noting that this is the second bilateral meeting between the two Presidents in the past eight months.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates met with Indonesian Minister of Defense Purnomo in Singapore on June 4th to discuss security cooperation.
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke led the first cabinet-level trade mission to Indonesia on May 25-26, to promote U.S. exports in a broad range of clean energy technologies.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the “Breathe Easy Jakarta” initiative, partnering with the Jakarta regional government to assess and reduce key sources of urban air pollution in Jakarta. Science Envoy Bruce Alberts explored new areas for cooperation in Science and Technology during a visit to Indonesia in May.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero visited Indonesia and engaged their Indonesian counterparts in wide-ranging strategic dialogues.
The U.S. Secretary of State and the Indonesian Foreign Minister will co-chair a Joint Commission later this year that will ensure continued momentum and progress on the Comprehensive Partnership.
The two Presidents will launch the Comprehensive Partnership when President Obama visits Indonesia. In that spirit, today the two Presidents agreed to initiate major initiatives advancing Higher Education and confronting Climate Change.
The United States will invest $165 million over five years in programs facilitating the vital exchange of leadership and management experience, scientific and technical expertise, and cultural understanding between Americans and Indonesians.
This support includes:
• Expanding of our exchange programs, including Fulbright, the Community College Initiative, and the State Department’s English-language training, student advising services, and other exchanges.
• Launching a major five-year effort to improve the quality of higher education in Indonesia through a University Partnership program supporting collaboration between select U.S. and Indonesian higher education institutions;
• The U.S. Government has also invited the Indonesian Minister of National Education to travel to the United States next summer for a U.S.-Indonesia Higher Education Summit to advance our cooperation in education.
The United States recognizes President Yudhoyono’s early pledge at the G-20 in Pittsburgh to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 41 percent below business as usual by 2020, as well as Indonesia’s support for the G-20 to pledge to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
In order to support these pledges, the Copenhagen Accord, and our shared goals on climate change, President Obama committed $136 million over three years in an array of programs toward Environment and Climate Change cooperation, which include:
• The $119 million SOLUSI partnership, which represents the major areas of Environment and Climate engagement – Science, Oceans, Land Use, Society and Innovation – and means “Solution” in Indonesian. Programs encompassed under SOLUSI include a second Tropical Forest Conservation Act agreement, Forestry and Climate Support Project, Marine and Climate Support Program, Clean Energy Development program, and others.
• Supporting Indonesia in establishing a Climate Change Center that will work closely with national, regional, and local stakeholders in and out of government, linking science to policy on strategic priorities in the climate change area, and focusing initially on emissions from peatlands.
The United States is pleased to announce $7 million in support for the Center and $10 million for associated projects and partnerships, including public-private partnerships focused on addressing climate-related challenges in Indonesia.
Indonesia and the United States welcome Norway’s matching contribution to the Center and encourage other countries and institutions to join in its development.