Viewing cable 06JAKARTA2532
Title: SENATOR FEINGOLD'S FEBRUARY 23 MEETING WITH

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06JAKARTA25322006-02-24 11:06:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 002532 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2016 
TAGS: PREL OREP PTER PGOV KAWC KNNP IR TT ID
SUBJECT: SENATOR FEINGOLD'S FEBRUARY 23 MEETING WITH 
FOREIGN MINISTER WIRAJUDA 
 
JAKARTA 00002532  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: B. Lynn Pascoe, Ambassador.  Reason: 1.4 (b, d) 
 
¶1. (C) Introduction and Summary.  In a February 23 meeting 
with Senator Russell Feingold, Indonesian Foreign Minister 
Wirajuda expressed optimism that Indonesia's historic 
experience with Islamic fundamentalism would eventually lead 
to success in stemming the current threat posed by Muslim 
extremists and terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah.  He 
explained Indonesia's approach to seeking accountability for 
crimes against humanity in East Timor, saying that the 
bilateral Truth and Friendship Commission offers the best 
prospects.  With regard to Papua, Wirajuda stressed that the 
Special Autonomy Law is the basis for the GOI's approach to 
resolving the conflict, but he defended the GOI's policy of 
excluding foreign journalists from the province.  Wirajuda 
explained that the GOI had decided to abstain in the IAEA 
Board of Governors vote on referring Iran to the UN Security 
Council because it had believed that there was still time to 
reach a negotiated resolution.  Wirajuda conceded that the 
U.S. invasion of Iraq and detention center at Guantanamo had 
damaged America's image in the eyes of many Indonesians.  End 
Summary. 
 
Counter-Terrorism and Muslim Extremism 
-------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (C) Senator Russell Feingold, accompanied by Ambassador 
and professional staff members Grey Frandsen and Evan 
Gottesman, met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan 
Wirajuda on February 23.  Senator Feingold greeted Foreign 
Minister Wirajuda, recalling their last meeting at a 
Washington luncheon hosted by Senate Majority Leader Frist. 
He stressed the importance of the United States' relationship 
with Indonesia, saying that he personally was engaged on 
bilateral issues including military-to-military relations; 
the 2002 murders of two Amcits near Timika, Papua; and human 
rights.  He asked Wirajuda to offer an assessment of the 
current terrorist threat in Indonesia.  Wirajuda said that 
the terrorists' goal was creation of an Islamic state.  He 
then offered a historic perspective, noting that Indonesia 
had dealt with this issue since independence in 1945.  He 
explained that Indonesia's founding fathers had rejected the 
option of making Indonesia an Islamic republic, and opted 
instead for a pluralistic society.  Again in the 50's and 
60's, the GOI had fought armed insurgencies seeking to impose 
sharia law in South Sulawesi, Sumatra, and West Java. 
Currently in Indonesia, he said, there were groups that used 
the democratic process to press for sharia law, while others 
have turned to violence.  However, because of its historic 
experience with earlier groups advocating these goals, 
Indonesia has not been as shocked as some of its neighbors by 
the emergence of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). 
 
¶3. (C) Senator Feingold inquired whether Wirajuda believed 
that JI was growing stronger or weaker.  Wirajuda said that 
particularly following the killing of the bomber Azahari, it 
appeared that JI was growing weaker.  He said that 
Indonesia's historic experience shows that the vast majority 
of Indonesians reject violent approaches.  The GOI's strategy 
for combating extremists involves "empowering the moderates" 
by promoting domestic and international inter-faith dialogues. 
 
¶4. (C) Senator Feingold commented that he was encouraged by 
this approach, pointing out that many Americans were not 
aware of Indonesia's tradition of religious moderation. 
Wirajuda agreed, saying that Indonesian Islam is different 
from forms of Islam that occur in an Arab cultural context. 
Islamic extremists in Indonesia, he said, had adopted or were 
influenced by Arab cultural traits. 
 
East Timor 
---------- 
 
¶5. (C) Senator Feingold said that another of his concerns was 
crimes against humanity committed during Indonesia's 
occupation of East Timor.  He said that he welcomed the 
creation of the Commission on Truth and Friendship, but 
stressed that there must be accountability for past crimes. 
 
¶6. (C) Wirajuda acknowledged that previous efforts, such as 
 
JAKARTA 00002532  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
East Timor's Serious Crimes Unit and Indonesian prosecutions, 
had proven unsatisfactory.  After initial debate, he said, 
GOI and the Government of East Timor had agreed to set up the 
Truth and Friendship Commission as an initiative to establish 
accountability.  Wirajuda said, however, that the 
Commission's Terms of Reference stipulated that it would 
provide an amnesty and would not lead to further 
prosecutions.  He stressed that the Commission was primarily 
a means to promoting greater reconciliation.  Wirajuda noted 
also that the governments of Indonesia and East Timor were 
making good progress on other residual issues such as border 
demarcation. 
 
¶7. (C) Senator Feingold responded that while he continued to 
urge that those responsible for crimes against humanity in 
East Timor be prosecuted, he welcomed other efforts to 
promote closure.  He commented that this matter continues to 
require serious attention. 
 
Papua 
----- 
 
¶8. (C) Turning to Papua, Senator Feingold said that he was 
increasingly concerned about conditions in that region, 
including underdevelopment, heavy-handed tactics by the 
Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), and an influx of non-Papuan 
settlers.  He stressed that the United States fully supports 
Indonesia's territorial integrity, and asked what strategy 
the GOI has taken to address the Papuan problem. 
 
¶9. (C) Wirajuda explained that the armed insurgency in Papua 
was insignificant, and certainly not comparable to the Aceh 
conflict.  He explained that the GOI was trying to fully 
implement Papua's Special Autonomy Law, which provides for 
increased revenue sharing with Papua's provincial and 
district governments, but corruption and poor capacity were 
serious problems for those levels of administration.  With 
regard to the division of Papua into two provinces, which has 
been challenged by both Papuan and foreign critics of the 
GOI, Wirajuda pointed out that Papua New Guinea - the eastern 
half of the island - is divided into 20 provinces. 
 
¶10. (C) Senator Feingold stressed that he was concerned by 
reports of human rights violations in Papua, and asked about 
the GOI's policy of forbidding foreign journalists access. 
Wirajuda responded that the GOI "must be selective" because 
the activities of journalists could "jeopardize efforts to 
settle the problem."  Indonesia's visa policy was generally 
liberal, he said, but the GOI was nonetheless wary of 
journalists who might "fan the flames" of conflict.  The 
Ambassador urged the GOI to reconsider its position, pointing 
out that in Aceh, permitting access to journalists has 
resulted in improved media coverage.  Keeping Papua closed, 
he said, hurts Indonesia. 
 
¶11. (C) Senator Feingold thanked Wirajuda for the GOI's 
progress on case of the murders of two American citizens in a 
2002 shooting in Timika, Papua.  He asked how Wirajuda 
envisioned next steps in the case.  Wirajuda responded that 
the GOI remains committed to seeing the case through to a 
trial and convictions, but was concerned about the affair 
potentially being exploited by Papuan separatists.  He said 
that everyone within the GOI had agreed with the decision to 
move the venue of the trial from Jayapura to Jakarta, where 
it would create less agitation among separatists.  Senator 
Feingold assured Wirajuda that he would remain engaged on the 
matter. 
 
Iranian Nuclear Program 
----------------------- 
 
¶12. (C) Senator Feingold invited Wirajuda to explain 
Indonesia's decision to abstain during the recent IAEA Board 
of Governors vote on whether to refer the Iranian nuclear 
program to the U.N. Security Council.  Wirajuda reiterated 
Indonesia's commitment to non-proliferation, but also to the 
inalienable right for NPT signatories to develop nuclear 
energy for peaceful purposes.  He said that in talks with 
Iran, Indonesia had encouraged it to pursue Russia's offer to 
develop a joint program, to continue dialogue with the EU-3, 
 
JAKARTA 00002532  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
and to permit IAEA inspectors to continue to monitor Iran's 
activities.  The problem, Wirajuda said, was a "lack of 
trust."  In the end, Wirajuda said, Indonesia had abstained 
on the vote because it believed that there was time to reach 
a negotiated settlement before the March 6 meeting of the 
IAEA Board of Governors. 
 
Indonesian Perceptions Of U.S. Policies 
---------------------------------------- 
¶13. (C) Senator Feingold asked the Foreign Minister whether 
U.S. policies in Iraq had negatively impacted Indonesian 
perceptions of the U.S.  Wirajuda said that this had been the 
case "at first," and that some Indonesians were concerned 
that there was an escalating confrontation between the 
Christian and Muslim worlds.  Senator Feingold asked whether 
this had also been a factor in Indonesia's thinking on the 
Iranian nuclear program.  Wirajuda conceded that this was a 
factor in terms of domestic perceptions of the issue, but 
repeated that the GOI's decision to abstain had been mainly 
driven by the desire to give diplomacy more time to work. 
The Minister said that he privately believed that the U.S. 
detention facility at Guantanamo Bay was hurting the United 
States' image.  He had personally agreed with the Malaysian 
Foreign Minister's call to shut down Guantanamo, although he 
had chosen not to express this publicly. 
 
¶14. (U) CODEL Feingold has cleared this message. 
PASCOE