Viewing cable 07JAKARTA1757
Title: PSI AND LAW OF THE SEA: DISCUSSION WITH HASYIM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07JAKARTA17572007-06-26 09:19:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
VZCZCXRO5793
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1757/01 1770919
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 260919Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
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INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001757 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR L/OES A.ROACH 
USPACOM FOR J6 P.PEDROZO 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2017 
TAGS: PARM MOPS PREL BEXP UNO ID
SUBJECT: PSI AND LAW OF THE SEA:  DISCUSSION WITH HASYIM 
DJALAL 
 
REF: JAKARTA 1656 
 
Classified By: CDA John A. Heffern, for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY:  On June 19, Charge discussed the 
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) with Ambassador 
(ret.) Hasyim Djalal, Indonesia's foremost authority on 
maritime law.  Djalal advises the GOI on martime matters and 
his views are widely acknowledged to be a major factor in the 
GOI's reluctance to join PSI.  While Djalal's writings make 
legal arguments against PSI, citing UNCLOS, his key verbal 
objection to us centered on the political pressures Indonesia 
could face as a major shipping country, if it were to join 
PSI.  If Indonesia allowed another PSI member to board and 
inspect one of its flag ships, Djalal said, the action would 
be challenged by nationalists in the press, public fora and 
Parliament.  If it declined to permit boarding of the suspect 
vessel, it would be subject to criticism by its PSI partners. 
 The GOI resisted endorsing PSI, Djalal said, largely to 
avoid facing this dilemma.  Charge also briefed Djalal on the 
Administration's recent announcement of support for UNCLOS, 
and on U.S. assistance to build Indonesia's maritime radar 
capability under Section 1206.  Embassy would welcome 
additional input in responding to Djalal's concerns about PSI 
(see para 8).  End summary. 
 
¶2. (U) Indonesian officials routinely invoke concerns about 
the Law of the Sea in explaining Indonesia's reservations 
about joining the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). 
Typically they refer to a possible incompatibility of PSI 
with the UNCLOS (1982 agreement), but seldom cite specific 
UNCLOS provisions.  This view is fairly uniform across the 
Department of Foreign Affairs (DEPLU), Department of Defense 
and Indonesian Navy.  The official Indonesian view of PSI is 
informed largely by Ambassador (ret.) Dr. Hasyim Djalal, 
Indonesia's foremost expert on the Law of the Sea (and father 
of President SBY's foreign policy advisor, Dino Djalal). 
DEPLU's Secretary General Imron Cotan implicitly cited 
Djalal's concerns on UNCLOS in a recent discussion of PSI 
with PM Acting Assistant Secretary Stephen Mull (reftel). 
 
PROLIFERATION SECURITY INITIATIVE 
 
¶3. (U) Djalal said Indonesia's main point of concern over 
PSI's implications for UNCLOS centered on Indonesia's 
expected role as a PSI member in cases of interdiction: 
 
-- Interdiction could be conducted only with the consent of 
the flag state; in Indonesia's case, approval to board an 
Indonesian-flagged ship could generate a nationalist backlash 
from the DPR, while refusal could open the GOI to accusations 
from the international community of abetting proliferation. 
 
In reply, Charge acknowledged that Indonesia faced a set of 
competing priorities and needed to decide where WMD 
proliferation stood among these priorities. 
 
¶4. (C) Djalal stated President Yudhoyono had recently asked 
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense to review the 
requirements for PSI to see if Indonesia could associate 
itself with it.  The ministers had recommended Indonesian 
participation on an "ad hoc, case-by-case" basis, but this 
approach had been rejected by the legislature's Commission I 
(responsible for foreign and security affairs).  Djalal said 
he was unfamiliar with the notion of a "bilateral PSI," 
something DEPLU has offered to explore with us in the past. 
Noting that India, China and South Korea had not joined PSI, 
Djalal suggested their accession might encourage Indonesia to 
reconsider its position. 
 
ADDITIONAL RESERVATIONS 
 
¶5. (U) At an international conference on maritime law in 
Kuala Lumpur in April 2007, Djalal took a different tack.  In 
that discussion, he maintained PSI "could fundamentally 
affect the development of the Law of the Sea and maritime 
issues" and might "negatively affect" freedom of navigation 
on the high seas.  PSI was an attempt, he opined, to change 
customary international law by expanding interdiction 
authority at the expense of coastal state and flag state 
 
JAKARTA 00001757  002 OF 002 
 
 
authority and jurisdiction; any such changes should be 
effected through "regional arrangements or organizations." 
Djalal did not cite these more legalistic points in our 
discussion on June 19, which focused only on the political 
issue. 
 
¶6. In asserting that the application of PSI in Indonesian 
waters might be inconsistent with UNCLOS, Djalal cited three 
UNCLOS provisions: 
 
o Article 17, which guarantees the right of innocent passage 
through the territorial sea," 
o Article 38, which assures all ships and aircraft of 
unimpeded transit rights, and 
o Article 52, which grants to ships of all states the right 
of innocent passage through archipelagic waters. 
 
CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE NOT A SUBSTITUTE 
 
¶6. (C) Djalal said Indonesia had tried to strike a balance 
with the Container Security Initiative (CSI), and that an 
initially skeptical GOI had eventually become persuaded of 
CSI's merits.  However, the United States had not yet 
approved Indonesia for CSI.  Charge said CSI, which focused 
on ports, worked well in friendly countries but was 
ineffective in stopping direct shipments from one 
proliferator to another.  Inspections and possible 
interdiction at sea was the only effective solution to the 
matter.  A proliferator would remain outside the scope of CSI 
and, most likely, other international nonproliferation 
agreements as well.  Any intervention in such a country's 
ports or other facilities would be tantamount to an act of 
war and was therefore something to avoid if at all possible. 
It was less aggressive to interdict a suspect ship in 
international waters, as PSI was designed to do.  Djalal was 
not presuaded. 
 
COMMENT AND REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE 
 
¶7. (C) Djalal's argument appears to be, at least implicitly, 
that the UNCLOS provisions are absolute and override any 
interdiction authority under PSI.  We have tried to challenge 
this interpretation, so far to no avil.  We believe the 
alleged legal contradictions are a smokescreen for avoiding 
tough political decisions on boarding, inspection and 
interdiction.  In that vein, we will continue to remind the 
GOI of its nonproliferation obligations and commitments and 
urge GOI to review its priorities. 
 
¶8. (C) Post welcomes Washington agencies' input for 
responding to these and any other legal objections Djalal has 
formally raised elsewhere to PSI. 
 
HEFFERN