The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 22, 2003

U.S. and Indonesia Joint Statement
Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia

President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today reaffirmed a new era of cooperation between two of the world's largest democracies and reviewed the shared values and common challenges that join them in friendship. They welcomed the excellent progress in implementing the Joint Statement of September 19, 2001. They also expressed satisfaction that the relationship between their two democracies continues to grow and strengthen. President Megawati emphasized the importance of President Bush's visit.

President Bush expressed the strong support of the United States for Indonesia's democratic transition and reforms, and welcomed Indonesia's progress toward becoming a mature and stable democracy. Both Presidents agreed that, as the most populous majority-Muslim nation, Indonesia is a powerful example that democracy and Islam can go hand in hand.

President Bush noted Indonesia's substantial economic recovery in recent years and pledged to support continued economic development as Indonesia successfully ends its program with the IMF at the end of this year. President Bush praised President Megawati's commitment to continue to press forward with difficult economic reforms, combat graft, and improve the investment climate. The two Presidents agreed that the long-standing trade and investment ties between their two countries have shown the benefits of an open trading system to Indonesia's development. The United States is the top market for Indonesia's non-oil and gas exports, and U.S. companies are major investors in Indonesia.

President Bush and President Megawati reaffirmed that military reform is an important element of Indonesia's transition to a mature and stable democracy. The two Presidents agreed that normal military relations are in the interest of both countries and agreed to continue working toward that objective. President Megawati welcomed U.S. support for her efforts to foster proper civil-military relations in the form of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and Regional Defense Counter Terrorism Fellowships. Both Presidents agreed on the need to improve civil-military relations and stressed the importance of observing human rights. Both Presidents welcomed the successful convening of the first Indonesia?United States Security Dialogue in Jakarta in April 2002. They agreed that the second dialogue would be held in Washington, D.C. early next year.

The two Presidents expressed their sorrow over the killing of two Americans and one Indonesian by unknown gunmen near Timika, Papua in August 2002. They noted that the joint investigation between the Indonesian police, the Armed Forces, and the FBI is proceeding well, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to find the murderers and bring them to justice, whoever they may be.

President Bush praised the Government of Indonesia for recent successes in their war on terror, including the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the Bali bombings, and focused efforts to dismantle the terrorist networks. Agreeing that terrorism poses a continued threat to international peace and security, the two Presidents committed to enhance their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, including through capacity-building and sharing of information.

Both Presidents denounced the linking of terrorism with religion. The two Presidents agreed that there could be no justification for terrorist attacks against innocent civilians. They stressed that terrorism is a violation of the true teachings of all religions, and agreed to work together to promote inter-faith dialogue in their respective countries and abroad. President Bush underscored that the war on terrorism is not in any way a war on Islam and expressed great admiration and respect for Indonesia's long history of religious tolerance and moderate Islamic thought.

President Bush announced a new six-year, $157 million program designed to support Indonesia's efforts to improve the quality of education in its schools. This initiative seeks to strengthen both basic and higher education by supporting parents, local governments, and Muslim organizations in their efforts to give Indonesian students the tools they need to compete in the global economy.

President Bush emphasized strong support for Indonesia's territorial integrity and national unity. He asserted that a united, stable, prosperous, and democratic Indonesia could be a model of a successful democratic transition for the world. President Bush reiterated that the United States opposes secessionist movements in any part of Indonesia, and calls on separatist groups in Aceh and Papua to pursue the redress of their grievances through peaceful political means. He further expressed the hope that the Indonesian Government would continue a political process based on Special Autonomy in dealing with those grievances. President Bush commended the Indonesian Government's efforts to resolve communal conflicts through law enforcement that respects human rights, dialogue, and reconciliation.

Both Presidents expressed deep concern regarding the ongoing terrorism and violence in the Middle East, which has claimed the lives of far too many innocent civilians. They expressed strong support for the vision articulated by President Bush on June 24, 2002, of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state living in peace and security side by side with a secure Israel. Both Presidents agreed that all parties share a responsibility to bring about a just and comprehensive peace, and that ending violence must be the highest priority.

President Bush, accompanied by President Megawati, also met Islamic leaders KH Hasyim Muzadi, Dr. Syafi'i Ma'arif, and Dr. Azyumardi Azra, as well as Christian leader Rev. Dr. Natan Setiabudi and Hindu leader Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung. During that meeting, President Bush expressed great respect for Indonesia's religious tolerance, moderation, and commitment to democracy. The religious leaders briefed President Bush on the Indonesian Islam, as well as cultural and religious harmony in Indonesia. They also expressed their views on current events, such as the situation in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. All agreed on the need to combat international terrorism.

The two Presidents recognized that a U.S.-Indonesia relationship based on mutual respect and equitable partnership is in the national interest of both countries. They pledged to deepen and strengthen this important relationship and to work together to promote global peace and prosperity.

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