Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with senior Indonesian officials, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa, to discuss the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, September 3-4. Secretary Clinton also held a bilateral meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Surin to emphasize the United States' commitment to building an enduring, multi-faceted relationship between ASEAN and the United States.
In her meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Natalegawa, the Secretary and her counterpart discussed a number of issues, including efforts to advance ASEAN unity, developments in the South China Sea, and the situations in Syria and Iran. Secretary Clinton said, "Here in Indonesia, one of the very first countries I visited as Secretary of State, we have seen our relationship grow stronger and deeper. The U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership is a foundation for America's renewed engagement in the Asia Pacific"
She continued, "One focus of America's engagement here is promoting economic growth through trade and development. The Indonesian government has announced more than half a trillion dollars in planned infrastructure improvement, and our government and our businesses strongly support this commitment by the Indonesian Government. We want to do even more in working to enhance jobs and economic growth for both our countries and the people of them. We think Indonesia's growth, which continues to be so strong, is essential not only for Indonesia but regionally and globally."
Secretary Clinton added, "The world looks to Indonesia as the leading democracy in the region -- as indeed the third largest democracy in the world -- to promote democracy and human rights, and we will work together on behalf of those important principles. We both agree strongly that there should be no discrimination against minorities on any basis -- religious or communal, sectarian, ethnic -- and that we should promote freedom and tolerance for all."
The Secretary also met with ASEAN Secretary General Surin. She said, "The United States views ASEAN as central to regional stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific. ...We were the first dialogue partner to open a mission to ASEAN. And I am pleased that others are also doing that. We appointed our first resident U.S. Ambassador, and Ambassador Carden holds regular meetings with his counterparts in the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives, whom we soon will welcome on their first official visit to the United States. We have engaged with ASEAN at the highest levels, with President Obama attending three U.S.-ASEAN leaders meetings, as well as the East Asia Summit, here in Indonesia last year."
Along with our continued economic, strategic, and people-to-people engagement with ASEAN, the United States remains committed to supporting ASEAN's evolution as the foremost regional institution promoting a vision of a peaceful, secure, prosperous, and democratic Southeast Asia. You can read more about U.S. institutional support for ASEAN here. You can follow the Secretary's travel on www.state.gov.