Congress and the U.S. Government rejects Papuan Independence

DEPUTY Speaker of the House Priyo Budi Santoso received U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel in a courtesy call in the Parliament building, Wednesday, May 23. This visit was an affirmation of appreciation of the Government and the U.S. Congress after the visit of Indonesia-US diplomatic Caucus House of Representatives in Washington DC some time ago.

Ambassador Scot Marciel also stated, that the Parliament delegation’s visit was one of a very productive visit in the history of relations between the parliaments of Indonesia and the U.S. Congress.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the House Priyo Budi Santoso said that one of the encouraging achievement in the Caucus’s visit to Washington DC is a member of the firm commitment of the U.S. Congress and U.S. Government on the unity of Indonesia and Papua acknowledgment that assertion is an integral part of the RI.

Indonesia Caucus, U.S. House of Representatives which was founded on March 28, 2012 and consists of 40 members had visited Washington DC on 23-29 April 2012 at the invitation of the U.S. Congress.

During the visit, the delegation Caucus, U.S. House of Representatives led by Priyo Budi Santoso as Caucus Chairman and Chairman of the delegation with members of the Teguh Juwarno (FPAN), Bobby Rizaldi (FPG), Didi Irawadi Syamsudin (FPD), Eva Kusuma Sundari (FPDIP), Ahmad Yani (FPPP), Edhy Prabowo (Gerindra), Akbar Faizal (Hanura) and Peggy Patrisia Pattipi (FKB).

With a total of 15 meeting agenda for 5 days in Washington DC, the delegation of Indonesia-US Caucus House of Representatives held a meeting with Senator Jim Webb (Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee), David Dreier (Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership), Jim McDermott (Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Indonesia USA), Maria Otero (Deputy Secretary of State), Kurt Campbell (Assistant Secretary of Asia Pacific Affairs), Daniel Russel (Special Assistant to President Obama), Collin Willett (senior officials of the National Security Council), the U.S. Ambassador for APEC, U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, director of the Congressional Research Service, USAID Regional Director Asia, USINDO and Representative U.S. – ASEAN Business Council and a visit to the headquarters of Voice of America.

In a meeting with top U.S. officials, the delegation was accompanied by the Ambassador of Indonesia Caucus for the U.S., Dino Patti Jalal. Throughout the visit, the delegation Caucus delivered a thorough explanation of the development of a great democratization in Indonesia.

“Indonesia is now present as the leading edge of the most democratic country in the universe. As the third largest democracy, Indonesia is able to harmonize democracy in harmony with religious values and local culture, “said Budi Santoso Priyo during a speech at the USINDO.

In fact, in terms of political participation at the elections and the role of women in the political process, Indonesia has been practicing democracy is much more advanced than the U.S. alone, plus Caucus member Eva Kusuma Sundari. It is also stressed by Teguh Juwarno about the important role of Indonesia and its strategic geopolitical position in the global developments including the emergence of new economic powers in Asia led by China.

When meeting with Congressman Eni Faleomavaega who is known to be very vocal about Indonesia, especially Papua issue, Faisal Akbar and Peggy Pattipi convey various aspects of advances in the handling of problems with the enforcement of Papua Special Autonomy Law on Papua.

However, emphasis is also on the unique dynamics within the Papuan community itself, including the presence of Freeport is often plagued by various problems. Caucus delegates also stressed the need for the Government of Indonesia and Freeport revisit and review the work contract on the basis of justice and solidarity, not the spirit of exploitation as often opinionated .

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni has the same view about Papua. In fact, he affirms its commitment to no longer support Papuan independence and respect the territorial integrity of Indonesia. Besides the issue of Papua, caucus delegates also discussed economic cooperation relations between the two countries.

Caucus and the Congressional and U.S. Governments agreed that trade between the two countries should be further improved by minimizing barriers to exports and imports of both countries must pay attention to the national interests of each other. About the existence of the process of establishing free trade is being pursued by ASEAN and the United States, members of the Caucus Bobby Rizaldi argues that free trade does not rule out the mechanism of the essence of fair trade in its implementation.

With a typical model of parliamentary diplomacy, caucus delegates managed to push efforts to closer cooperation with the U.S. Congress. In the context of cooperation with the House Democracy Partnership, Caucus encourages efforts to increase partnerships in terms of parliamentary capacity building among others in terms of skilled staff exchanges, joint website, joint research, and participation in parliamentary workshop.

Caucus delegates are also finalizing cooperation with their counterparts in the U.S. Congress where the Caucus hopes to soon sign a partnership document that clearly formulate concrete cooperation both Caucus.

Caucus delegation also expressed the vision of a comprehensive road map for the establishment of synergistic Indonesia – US Strategic Partnership as a form of U.S. – Indonesian Comprehensive Partnership that has previously signed by President Yudhoyono and President Obama in 2010 in Jakarta. TP

Sources: KORAN SINDO (Google Translation)

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