The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 19, 2001

U.S. and Indonesia on Terror and Tolerance
Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia on Terrorism and Religious Tolerance

      President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today condemned the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and pledged to strengthen existing cooperation in the global effort to combat international terrorism.  On behalf of the 210 million people of Indonesia, President Megawati expressed her deepest sympathies to the American people and pledged solidarity with the United States in this hour of grief.  Noting that the victims included innocent civilians of many nationalities, including an Indonesian citizen, the two leaders agreed that these indiscriminate attacks have no place in a civilized world.  

     The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of religious freedom and tolerance in relations within and among nations.  As leader of the world's largest Muslim population and third largest democracy, President Megawati joined President Bush in underlining the importance of differentiating between the religion of Islam and the acts of violent extremists.  Emphasizing that Islam is a religion of peace that neither teaches hatred nor condones violence, President Megawati encouraged President Bush in his stated purpose of building a broad coalition across religious lines and cultures to deal with these new and dangerous threats.  She further emphasized the importance of taking into account the views of the Muslim world as the United States leads an appropriate response to the events of September 11.  Noting that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States, President Bush assured President Megawati that the American people respect Islam as one of the world's great religions and that the United States would join hands with freedom-loving people of all religions to combat transnational terror.

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