Rabu, 10 November 2010
Full transcripts of speeches during US President Barack Obama's state visit in Indonesia, Nov. 9-10
Lecture at the University of Indonesia campus, Nov. 10
US President Barack Obama:
Thank you for this wonderful welcome. Thank you to the people of Jakarta. And thank you to the people of Indonesia.
I am so glad that I made it to Indonesia, and that Michelle was able to join me. We had a couple of false starts this year, but I was determined to visit a country that has meant so much to me. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly quick visit, but I look forward to coming back a year from now, when Indonesia hosts the East Asia Summit.
Before I go any further, I want to say that our thoughts and prayers are with all of those Indonesians affected by the recent tsunami and volcanic eruptions – particularly those who have lost loved ones, and those who have been displaced. As always, the United States stands with Indonesia in responding to this natural disaster, and we are pleased to be able to help as needed. As neighbors help neighbors and families take in the displaced, I know that the strength and resilience of the Indonesian people will pull you through once more.
Let me begin with a simple statement: Indonesia is a part of me. I first came to this country when my mother married an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro. As a young boy, I was coming to a different world. But the people of Indonesia quickly made me feel at home.
Jakarta looked very different in those days. The city was filled with buildings that were no more than a few stories tall. The Hotel Indonesia was one of the few high rises, and there was just one brand new shopping center called Sarinah. Becaks outnumbered automobiles in those days, and the highway quickly gave way to unpaved roads and kampongs.
We moved to Menteng Dalam, where we lived in a small house with a mango tree out front. I learned to love Indonesia while flying kites, running along paddy fields, catching dragonflies, and buying satay and baso from the street vendors. Most of all, I remember the people – the old men and women who welcomed us with smiles; the children who made a foreigner feel like a neighbor; and the teachers who helped me learn about the wider world.
Because Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands, hundreds of languages, and people from scores of regions and ethnic groups, my times here helped me appreciate the common humanity of all people. And while my stepfather, like most Indonesians, was raised a Muslim, he firmly believed that all religions were worthy of respect. In this way, he reflected the spirit of religious tolerance that is enshrined in Indonesia’s Constitution, and that remains one of this country’s defining and inspiring characteristics.
I stayed here for four years – a time that helped shape my childhood; a time that saw the birth of my wonderful sister, Maya; and a time that made such an impression on my mother that she kept returning to Indonesia over the next twenty years to live, work and travel – pursuing her passion of promoting opportunity in Indonesia’s villages, particularly for women and girls. For her entire life, my mother held this place and its people close to her heart.
So much has changed in the four decades since I boarded a plane to move back to Hawaii. If you asked me – or any of my schoolmates who knew me back then – I don’t think any of us could have anticipated that I would one day come back to Jakarta as President of the United States. And few could have anticipated the remarkable story of Indonesia over these last four decades.
The Jakarta that I once knew has grown to a teeming city of nearly ten million, with skyscrapers that dwarf the Hotel Indonesia, and thriving centers of culture and commerce. While my Indonesian friends and I used to run in fields with water buffalo and goats, a new generation of Indonesians is among the most wired in the world – connected through cell phones and social networks. And while Indonesia as a young nation focused inward, a growing Indonesia now plays a key role in the Asia Pacific and the global economy.
This change extends to politics. When my step-father was a boy, he watched his own father and older brother leave home to fight and die in the struggle for Indonesian independence. I’m happy to be here on Heroes Day to honor the memory of so many Indonesians who have sacrificed on behalf of this great country.
When I moved to Jakarta, it was 1967, a time that followed great suffering and conflict in parts of this country. Even though my step-father had served in the Army, the violence and killing during that time of political upheaval was largely unknown to me because it was unspoken by my Indonesian family and friends. In my household, like so many others across Indonesia, it was an invisible presence. Indonesians had their independence, but fear was not far away.
In the years since then, Indonesia has charted its own course through an extraordinary democratic transformation – from the rule of an iron fist to the rule of the people. In recent years, the world has watched with hope and admiration, as Indonesians embraced the peaceful transfer of power and the direct election of leaders. And just as your democracy is symbolized by your elected President and legislature, your democracy is sustained and fortified by its checks and balances: a dynamic civil society; political parties and unions; a vibrant media and engaged citizens who have ensured that – in Indonesia -- there will be no turning back.
But even as this land of my youth has changed in so many ways, those things that I learned to love about Indonesia – that spirit of tolerance that is written into your Constitution; symbolized in your mosques and churches and temples; and embodied in your people – still lives on. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika – unity in diversity. This is the foundation of Indonesia’s example to the world, and this is why Indonesia will play such an important role in the 21st century.
So today, I return to Indonesia as a friend, but also as a President who seeks a deep and enduring partnership between our two countries. Because as vast and diverse countries; as neighbors on either side of the Pacific; and above all as democracies – the United States and Indonesia are bound together by shared interests and shared values.
Yesterday, President Yudhoyono and I announced a new, Comprehensive Partnership between the United States and Indonesia. We are increasing ties between our governments in many different areas, and – just as importantly – we are increasing ties among our people. This is a partnership of equals, grounded in mutual interests and mutual respect.
With the rest of my time today, I’d like to talk about why the story I just told – the story of Indonesia since the days when I lived here – is so important to the United States, and to the world. I will focus on three areas that are closely related, and fundamental to human progress – development, democracy, and religion.
First, the friendship between the United States and Indonesia can advance our mutual interest in development.
When I moved to Indonesia, it would have been hard to imagine a future in which the prosperity of families in Chicago and Jakarta would be connected. But our economies are now global, and Indonesians have experienced both the promise and perils of globalization: from the shock of the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s to the millions lifted out of poverty. What that means – and what we learned in the recent economic crisis – is that we have a stake in each other’s success.
America has a stake in an Indonesia that is growing, with prosperity that is broadly shared among the Indonesian people – because a rising middle class here means new markets for our goods, just as America is a market for yours. And so we are investing more in Indonesia, our exports have grown by nearly 50 percent, and we are opening doors for Americans and Indonesians to do business with one another.
America has a stake in an Indonesia that plays its rightful role in shaping the global economy. Gone are the days when seven or eight countries could come together to determine the direction of global markets. That is why the G-20 is now the center of international economic cooperation, so that emerging economies like Indonesia have a greater voice and bear greater responsibility. And through its leadership of the G-20’s anti-corruption group, Indonesia should lead on the world stage and by example in embracing transparency and accountability.
America has a stake in an Indonesia that pursues sustainable development, because the way we grow will determine the quality of our lives and the health of our planet. That is why we are developing clean energy technologies that can power industry and preserve Indonesia’s precious natural resources – and America welcomes your country’s strong leadership in the global effort to combat climate change.
Above all, America has a stake in the success of the Indonesian people. Underneath the headlines of the day, we must build bridges between our peoples, because our future security and prosperity is shared. That is exactly what we are doing – by increased collaboration among our scientists and researchers, and by working together to foster entrepreneurship. And I am especially pleased that we have committed to double the number of American and Indonesian students studying in our respective countries – we want more Indonesian students in our schools, and more American students to come study in this country, so that we can forge new ties that last well into this young century.
These are the issues that really matter in our daily lives. Development, after all, is not simply about growth rates and numbers on a balance sheet. It’s about whether a child can learn the skills they need to make it in a changing world. It’s about whether a good idea is allowed to grow into a business, and not be suffocated by corruption. It’s about whether those forces that have transformed the Jakarta that I once knew –technology and trade and the flow of people and goods – translate into a better life for human beings, a life marked by dignity and opportunity.
This kind of development is inseparable from the role of democracy.
Today, we sometimes hear that democracy stands in the way of economic progress. This is not a new argument. Particularly in times of change and economic uncertainty, some will say that it is easier to take a shortcut to development by trading away the rights of human beings for the power of the state. But that is not what I saw on my trip to India, and that is not what I see in Indonesia. Your achievements demonstrate that democracy and development reinforce one another.
Like any democracy, you have known setbacks along the way. America is no different. Our own Constitution spoke of the effort to forge a “more perfect union,” and that is a journey we have travelled ever since, enduring Civil War and struggles to extend rights to all of our citizens. But it is precisely this effort that has allowed us to become stronger and more prosperous, while also becoming a more just and free society.
Like other countries that emerged from colonial rule in the last century, Indonesia struggled and sacrificed for the right to determine your destiny. That is what Heroes Day is all about – an Indonesia that belongs to Indonesians. But you also ultimately decided that freedom cannot mean replacing the strong hand of a colonizer with a strongman of your own.
Of course, democracy is messy. Not everyone likes the results of every election. You go through ups and downs. But the journey is worthwhile, and it goes beyond casting a ballot. It takes strong institutions to check the concentration of power. It takes open markets that allow individuals to thrive. It takes a free press and an independent justice system to root out abuse and excess, and to insist upon accountability. It takes open society and active citizens to reject inequality and injustice.
These are the forces that will propel Indonesia forward. And it will require a refusal to tolerate the corruption that stands in the way of opportunity; a commitment to transparency that gives every Indonesian a stake in their government; and a belief that the freedom that Indonesians have fought for is what holds this great nation together.
That is the message of the Indonesians who have advanced this democratic story – from those who fought in the Battle of Surabaya 55 years ago today; to the students who marched peacefully for democracy in the 1990s, to leaders who have embraced the peaceful transition of power in this young century. Because ultimately, it will be the rights of citizens that will stitch together this remarkable Nusantara that stretches from Sabang to Merauke – an insistence that every child born in this country should be treated equally, whether they come from Java or Aceh; Bali or Papua.
That effort extends to the example that Indonesia sets abroad. Indonesia took the initiative to establish the Bali Democracy Forum, an open forum for countries to share their experiences and best practices in fostering democracy. Indonesia has also been at the forefront of pushing for more attention to human rights within ASEAN. The nations of Southeast Asia must have the right to determine their own destiny, and the United States will strongly support that right. But the people of Southeast Asia must have the right to determine their own destiny as well. That is why we condemned elections in Burma that were neither free nor fair. That is why we are supporting your vibrant civil society in working with counterparts across this region. Because there is no reason why respect for human rights should stop at the border of any country.
Hand in hand, that is what development and democracy are about – the notion that certain values are universal. Prosperity without freedom is just another form of poverty. Because there are aspirations that human beings share – the liberty of knowing that your leader is accountable to you, and that you won’t be locked up for disagreeing with them; the opportunity to get an education and to work with dignity; the freedom to practice your faith without fear or restriction.
Religion is the final topic that I want to address today, and – like democracy and development – it is fundamental to the Indonesian story.
Like the other Asian nations that I am visiting on this trip, Indonesia is steeped in spirituality – a place where people worship God in many different ways. Along with this rich diversity, it is also home to the world’s largest Muslim population – a truth that I came to know as a boy when I heard the call to prayer across Jakarta.
Just as individuals are not defined solely by their faith, Indonesia is defined by more than its Muslim population. But we also know that relations between the United States and Muslim communities have frayed over many years. As President, I have made it a priority to begin to repair these relations. As a part of that effort, I went to Cairo last June, and called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world – one that creates a path for us to move beyond our differences.
I said then, and I will repeat now, that no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust. But I believed then, and I believe today, that we have a choice. We can choose to be defined by our differences, and give in to a future of suspicion and mistrust. Or we can choose to do the hard work of forging common ground, and commit ourselves to the steady pursuit of progress. And I can promise you – no matter what setbacks may come, the United States is committed to human progress. That is who we are. That is what we have done. That is what we will do.
We know well the issues that have caused tensions for many years – issues that I addressed in Cairo. In the 17 months that have passed we have made some progress, but much more work remains to be done.
Innocent civilians in America, Indonesia, and across the world are still targeted by violent extremists. I have made it clear that America is not, and never will be, at war with Islam. Instead, all of us must defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion – certainly not a great, world religion like Islam. But those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy. This is not a task for America alone. Indeed, here in Indonesia, you have made progress in rooting out terrorists and combating violent extremism.
In Afghanistan, we continue to work with a coalition of nations to build the capacity of the Afghan government to secure its future. Our shared interest is in building peace in a war-torn land – a peace that provides no safe-haven for violent extremists, and that provides hope for the Afghan people.
Meanwhile, we have made progress on one of our core commitments — our effort to end the war in Iraq. 100,000 American troops have left Iraq. Iraqis have taken full responsibility for their security. And we will continue to support Iraq as it forms an inclusive government and we bring all of our troops home.
In the Middle East, we have faced false starts and setbacks, but we have been persistent in our pursuit of peace. Israelis and Palestinians restarted direct talks, but enormous obstacles remain. There should be no illusions that peace and security will come easy. But let there be no doubt: we will spare no effort in working for the outcome that is just, and that is in the interest of all the parties involved: two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.
The stakes are high in resolving these issues, and the others I have spoken about today. For our world has grown smaller and while those forces that connect us have unleashed opportunity, they also empower those who seek to derail progress. One bomb in a marketplace can obliterate the bustle of daily commerce. One whispered rumor can obscure the truth, and set off violence between communities that once lived in peace. In an age of rapid change and colliding cultures, what we share as human beings can be lost.
But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia gives us hope. It’s a story written into our national mottos. E pluribus unum – out of many, one. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika – unity in diversity. We are two nations, which have travelled different paths. Yet our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag. And we are now building on that shared humanity – through the young people who will study in each other’s schools; through the entrepreneurs forging ties that can lead to prosperity; and through our embrace of fundamental democratic values and human aspirations..
Earlier today, I visited the Istiqlal mosque – a place of worship that was still under construction when I lived in Jakarta. I admired its soaring minaret, imposing dome, and welcoming space. But its name and history also speak to what makes Indonesia great. Istiqlal means independence, and its construction was in part a testament to the nation’s struggle for freedom. Moreover, this house of worship for many thousands of Muslims was designed by a Christian architect.
Such is Indonesia’s spirit. Such is the message of Indonesia’s inclusive philosophy, Pancasila. Across an archipelago that contains some of God’s most beautiful creations, islands rising above an ocean named for peace, people choose to worship God as they please. Islam flourishes, but so do other faiths. Development is strengthened by an emerging democracy. Ancient traditions endure, even as a rising power is on the move.
That is not to say that Indonesia is without imperfections. No country is. But here can be found the ability to bridge divides of race and region and religion – that ability to see yourself in all individuals. As a child of a different race coming from a distant country, I found this spirit in the greeting that I received upon moving here: Selamat Datang. As a Christian visiting a mosque on this visit, I found it in the words of a leader who was asked about my visit and said, “Muslims are also allowed in churches. We are all God’s followers.”
That spark of the divine lies within each of us. We cannot give in to doubt or cynicism or despair. The stories of Indonesia and America tell us that history is on the side of human progress; that unity is more powerful than division; and that the people of this world can live together in peace. May our two nations work together, with faith and determination, to share these truths with all mankind.
Remarks in a Toast at the State Dinner at Presidential Palace, Nov. 9
President Barack Obama:
President Yudhoyono, Mrs. Yudhoyono, to all the distinguished guests who are here today, thank you for this extraordinary honor. I am proud and humbled to accept this award on behalf of my mother. And although she could not be here in person, I know that my sister Maya Soetoro would be equally proud.
Now, I’m going to have the opportunity to speak tomorrow and so I will try to keep my remarks brief. First of all, thank you for the bakso. (Laughter.) The nasi goring. (Applause.) The emping. (Laughter.) The kerupuk. (Laughter.) Semuanya enak. (Laughter.) Thank you very much. (Applause.)
But the fact, Mr. President, that you would choose to recognize my mother in this way speaks to the bonds that she forged over many years with the people of this magnificent country. And in honoring her, you honor the spirit that led her to travel into villages throughout the country, often on the back of motorcycles, because that was the only way to get into some of these villages.
She believed that we all share common aspirations -- to live in dignity and security, to get an education, to provide for our families, to give our children a better future, to leave the world better than we found it. She also believed, by the way, in the importance of educating girls and empowering women, because she understood that when we provide education to young women, when we honor and respect women, that we are in fact developing the entire country. That’s what kept bringing my mother back to this country for so many years. That’s the lesson that she passed on to me and that’s the lesson that Michelle and I try to pass on to our daughters.
So on behalf of our entire family, we thank you. I am deeply moved. It is this same largeness of heart that compels us tonight to keep in our thoughts and prayers all those who are suffering who from the eruptions and the tsunami and the earthquake. With so many in need tonight, that’s one more reason for me to keep my remarks short.
As a young boy in Menteng Dalam 40 years ago, I could never imagine that I would one day be hosted here at Istana Negara -- never mind as President of the United States. I didn’t think I would be stepping into this building ever. (Laughter and applause.)
And I know that much has been made about how a young boy could move between such different countries and cultures as Indonesia and the United States. But the truth is, is that our two countries have far more in common than most people realize. We are two peoples who broke free from colonial rule. We are both two vast nations that stretch thousands of miles. We are both two societies that find strength in our diversity. And we are two democracies where power resides in the people. And so it’s only natural that we should be partners in the world.
I am fortunate to have a very strong partner in President Yudhoyono -- Indonesia’s first directly elected president, and a leader who has guided this nation through its journey into democracy. And our two nations are fortunate that we are forging a partnership for the 21st century. And as we go forward, I’m reminded of a proverb: bagai aur dengan tebing -- like bamboo and the river bank, we rely on each other.
And so I would like to propose a toast. In the spirit of friendship between our two countries, we are reminded of the truth that no nation is an island, not even when you’re made up of thousands of islands. We all rely on each other together, like bamboo and the river bank. And like my mother riding between villages on a motorcycle, we are all stronger and safer when we see our common humanity in each other.
So President Yudhoyono, and to all the distinguished who are here, thank you for your extraordinary friendship and the warmth with which you have received Michelle and myself. And I promise that it won’t take so long before I come back.
Remarks by President Obama and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting, Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Nov. 9, 2010
Mr. President and the delegate, first of all, I would like to once again welcome you to Jakarta, Indonesia. Thank you for visiting us and I am hoping that your visit will mark another milestone in our bilateral relations.
We have discussed many issues on our bilateral relation as well as on the regional and global affairs. And I am optimistic that we could further promote, deepen and expand our bilateral friendships, partnerships, and cooperations.
I would like to give the floor to you firstly on how could we further expand and deepen our bilateral cooperations.
President Obama: Excellent. Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. And to your delegation and to the people of Indonesia, thank you for your hospitality and the warm greeting that we’ve already received.
We had an excellent conversation. It was so good that it ran over the scheduled time. And so I think the recommendation has been that we use this expanded bilateral just to try to summarize some of the discussion that we’ve already had and the meeting of the minds that we’ve had on a range of issues.
Obviously the most important thing that comes out of this visit is finalizing the comprehensive partnership between our two countries. We are very invested in making this successful because it is our belief that Indonesia is not just a rising regional power but a rising world power. And as the world’s two most populous -- two of the three most populous democracies, as countries that I think share a tradition of pluralism and diversity, for us to work together --
(Press pool is escorted from the room.)
6:04 P.M. WIT
Press Conference by President Obama and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia
President Yudhoyono: (As translated.) Your Excellency, President Barack Obama, today Indonesia has the honor of welcoming the state visit fulfilling my invitation to him. It is my hope that this visit that we have been waiting for so long by the people of Indonesia, can further enhance the relations between Indonesia and the cooperation between Indonesia and the United States in the future.
In President Obama’s state visit this time, it also coincides -- we are launching the Comprehensive Partnership that we hope with this partnership all forms of cooperation between our governments can be enhanced in a concrete manner in the future.
We both agreed to enhance, increase cooperation in various fields with the specific agenda and specific priority that we wish to enhance -- that is in the area of trade and investment, in the area of education, energy, in the area of climate change and the environment, in the area of security and democracy and also civil society.
We earnestly hope that this partnership that we establish, that we can look to the future and this partnership may build upon people-to-people relations between our two great nations and furthermore, can contribute to the creation of global peace, stability, and the economy, be it at the regional or at the global level.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are many issues that we discussed earlier at the bilateral meeting, but I wish to convey a number of elements that became the commitment of both our governments -- commitment of the United States and the Republic of Indonesia -- to truly enhance and to build upon in the future.
First of all is in the area of trade and investment. At this time, the United States is the trade partner number three for Indonesia, with $21 billion in 2008, and also investor number three for Indonesia. We hope that -- and I personally expect that -- once again, the investment and trade between our two countries can be increased significantly in the future, bearing in mind that the magnitude of the economies of the United States and also the economic growth that is occurring in Indonesia right now.
We also discussed and agreed to enhance cooperation in the area of energy, especially clean energy, and invite the U.S. to participate in the development of geothermal energy that is also one of Indonesia’s great sources of renewable energy and a high number of deposits.
We also discussed the opportunity to cooperate in the area of climate change, environment, and also management of the forest. Indonesia possesses the responsibility to manage our forests, to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas effects from the forest. We also have a target to reduce 26 percent of our emissions by 2020, with the cooperation of the international community, the United States and Indonesia, as developing country and developed country. Therefore, our hopes to attain this kind of commitment will contribute significantly and play an effective role.
It is our need to underscore the cooperation in education sector. Therefore, I thanked President Barack Obama for his assistance and cooperation all this time in the area of education. When we met in Toronto in June, the United States assisted $100 million to the development of education in Indonesia. This is a pillar of great importance for people-to-people contact, for cooperation between our two great nations, Comprehensive Partnership that we possess right now. We agreed to enhance this cooperation in the area of education in the future.
We also underscored the importance of cooperation in the area of counterterrorism, where terrorism is an enemy for all nations and we must and we desire to strengthen cooperation in the context of law enforcement. In this regard, it will be an effective focus in the efforts to eradicate acts of terrorism.
Ladies and gentlemen, we also discussed global and regional issues of common concern. Among others, the future of the relations between ASEAN and the United States, the future of the East Asia Summit, and also cooperation in regional -- in the context of APEC, we both agreed to discuss efforts to ensure stability and security and peace in our region -- specific Asia Pacific, including in the area of Asia, which currently is facing a lot of focus on many shifts in geopolitics in the recent times.
I conveyed to President Obama that Indonesia will chair ASEAN in 2011, and therefore, as host of the East Asia Summit, we invite Obama to attend the meeting with other leaders in the East Asia Summit, including the President of Russia, to together we discuss matters on the issue of security in our region, specifically Asia Pacific.
And we also discussed the issue of G20 where we must continue to promote G20 as a premier forum for international economic cooperation, so that efforts to develop global economic growth that is strong, balanced, and sustainable can be achieved. And also we must secure the balance of the global economy so that it will bring benefit to all humanity.
We also see the issue of Myanmar and hope that the process of democratization in Myanmar that is currently taking place as promised by the government of Myanmar will take place in a good way.
Last but not least, we also discussed the issue of the situation in the Middle East, including the issue of Palestine and Israel. And also I conveyed the His Excellency that the position of Indonesia is clear that we need a resolution on Palestine-Israel in a permanent, sustainable manner, a two-state solution and independence for the people of Palestine who are living in peace with the people of Israel, and must be supported by the international community.
Ladies and gentlemen, those are the key elements that I wish to convey that we discussed during our bilateral meeting this evening. And it is my big hope from Indonesia that -- and I'm very optimistic that with the Comprehensive Partnership with the government of the United States and cooperation and partnership between Indonesia and the United States in various fields will receive our effort to enhance and to improve.
Therefore, I wish to now invite President Barack Obama to convey his views to the Indonesian press and also to the U.S. press and the participants here. And I also truly hope that once again this framework for cooperation can truly bring benefit be it for the nation of the United States and Indonesia.
I invite you, Mr. Barack.
President Obama: Selamat sore. Thank you, President Yudhoyono, for your kind words, your gracious welcome and for your friendship and your partnership.
After more than one attempt, it is wonderful to finally be back in Indonesia. And I’m very pleased that my wife Michelle is joining me for her first visit to the country. I assure you, it won’t be her last. And I want to thank the people of Jakarta for the wonderful reception when we arrived. Even in the rain, people were there to greet us. And we’re very appreciative of that.
Of course, we’re mindful that this is a difficult time for Indonesia -— first, the recent earthquake and tsunami, and now the volcanic eruptions. And our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their loved ones or their homes. And I know that President Yudhoyono has been tireless in his efforts to make sure that people are safe and that this difficulty is dealt with in as effective way as possible. And so we are fully supportive of him.
The United States will continue to support the relief efforts in any way that we can. And I hope that my presence here today is a reminder that, in good times and in bad times, the United States stands as a friend with Indonesia.
Now, obviously, much has been made of the fact that this marks my return to where I lived as a young boy. I will tell you, though, that I barely recognized it. As I was driving down the streets, the only building that was there when I first moved to Jakarta was Sarinah. Now it’s one of the shorter buildings on the road. (Laughter.)
But today, as President, I’m here to focus not on the past, but on the future —- the Comprehensive Partnership that we’re building between the United States and Indonesia.
As one of the world’s largest democracies, as the largest economy in Southeast Asia and as a member of the G20, as a regional leader, as a vast archipelago on the front lines of climate change, and as a society of extraordinary diversity -- Indonesia is where many of the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st century come together.
At the same time, the United States is leading again in Asia. We are strengthening our alliances. We’re deepening relationships, as we’re doing with China. We’re re-engaging with ASEAN and joining the East Asia summit, and we’re forging new partnerships with emerging powers like Indonesia. So our Comprehensive Partnership is bringing our countries closer together. And I want to focus just on three key areas. And we discussed a wide range of issues during our meeting.
First, as President Yudhoyono mentioned, we are looking to expand our trade and investment and commercial relationships because it can create prosperity in both our countries.
Trade between us is growing fast —- and that includes American exports to Indonesia. And that’s why Indonesia is one of the growing markets that we’re going to be focused on as part of my initiative to double U.S. exports. President Yudhoyono and I discussed ways to create the conditions that would encourage additional trade and investment. He mentioned that we’re number three right now in terms of trade volume and investment. And I informed him we don't like being number three; we want to be number one. (Laughter.)
And so we’re going to be doing everything we can to expand this trading relationship. And I’m pleased to announce that the Oversees Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, will host its annual conference this spring in Indonesia to highlight new opportunities for partnership here and across the region.
To strengthen cooperation in science and technology that fuels growth, we are going to be pursuing joint research in areas like energy and biodiversity conversation. And we are expanding educational partnerships between our young scientists, engineers and doctors. And building on the entrepreneurship summit that I hosted in Washington, which was attended by some very talented young Indonesians, I’m pleased that Indonesia will be hosting a regional entrepreneurship conference next year.
As we prepare for the G20 and APEC summits, President Yudhoyono and I discussed the need to ensure that the global economic recovery is strong and balanced and is creating jobs in all of our countries. So that’s focus number one -- trade, investment, and the economy.
Second, we’re forging new ties between our people to address common challenges. We’re expanding partnerships between our students and our universities. We aim to double the number of educational exchanges between our two countries within five years. And I thank President Yudhoyono’s offer for additional scholarships for young Americans to study in Indonesia. I think that’s a wonderful thing that needs to happen.
We’re proud to support Indonesia’s leadership under President Yudhoyono in confronting climate change. I understand there’s been a lot of rain this year, and obviously we can’t look at one year as indicative of the future but I think there’s no doubt that as an archipelago, Indonesia will be on the front lines when it comes to the potential impacts of climate change.
So we’re glad to work with President Yudhoyono on this issue, and we welcome and will support the new partnership between Indonesia and Norway to slow emissions from deforestation and degradation of peat land.
We’re bringing on -- we’re building on Indonesia’s inspiring transition from dictatorship to democracy by launching a new effort to help Indonesian civil society groups who tackle corruption and promote human rights at home to share their experience with civil society groups across this region, because I think people can learn from the experiences of Indonesia.
And I would note that many of the partnerships I’ve mentioned are a direct result of my call in Cairo for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities around the world. And it involves the private sector as well, thanks to efforts like Partners for a New Beginning, which is forging partnerships around science, education and entrepreneurship.
The third element of our Comprehensive Partnership is to deepen our political and security cooperation. As President Yudhoyono mentioned, we’re already enjoying strong cooperation in preventing terrorism, preventing piracy. We look forward to Indonesia’s leadership as the chair of ASEAN next year, and I look forward to returning to Jakarta next year for the East Asia Summit.
One of the challenges ASEAN and the world will continue to face is Burma, and I commend Indonesia for standing up for the people of Burma and their rights. Last week’s election in Burma was neither free, nor fair. And we will continue our efforts to move Burma toward democratic reform and protection of human rights. As a first step, the Burmese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
So, promoting prosperity, expanding partnerships between our people, and deepening political and security cooperation -- these are the pillars of our new partnership, which owes so much to the leadership of my good friend President Yudhoyono. I believe that our two nations have only begun to forge the cooperation that’s possible. And I say that not simply as someone who knows firsthand what Indonesia can offer the world. I say it as President -- a President who knows what Indonesia and the United States can offer the world together if we work together in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect.
So terima kasih dan Assalamualaikum. (Applause.)
Q Good evening, Mr. President. I speak in Indonesian because Mr. President has been in Jakarta. Lately, Mr. President, the region of Asia Pacific is developing and the development is extraordinary. There’s initiative, cooperation, and there is always promotion to a strategic partnership. What do you think is the role of the U.S. in the configuration of Asia Pacific in the future? Thank you very much, Mr. President.
President Obama: Well, this is something that President Yudhoyono and I spent a lot of time discussing. Asia is the fastest-growing part of the world. It’s the fastest growing in terms of population. It’s the fastest growing set of economies. And so there’s enormous potential and enormous promise -- but only if countries are cooperating, if they are observing basic rules of the road, if potential conflicts are resolved in a peaceful fashion.
And so it’s very important I think to make sure that we have the kinds of multilateral institutions and architecture that can maximize the potential and minimize the challenges of a rapidly changing region.
I think Indonesia is going to be a critical partner in that, a critical leader in that, primarily because it is a country that has figured out how to create a genuine democracy despite great diversity, and so I think can promote the kinds of values that will help people all across this region maximize their potential.
What I’d like to see is that even as we continue to work through APEC on economic issues -- it’s primarily an economic organization -- that the East Asia Summit becomes a premier organizational structure to work on political and security issues. And I think under President Yudhoyono’s leadership next year, there’s enormous potential for us to start looking at some specific areas of common interest.
One example that I mentioned in our bilateral meeting was the issue of the South China Sea and how various maritime issues, conflicts, can get resolved in a peaceful fashion. I think that’s something that everybody has an interest in, everybody has a concern in. But there may be a whole host of other issues like that in which the East Asia Summit is probably the ideal venue.
Regardless of whether we’re talking about APEC or East Asia Summit, or for that matter the G20, Indonesia is going to have a seat at the table. And its leadership is going to be absolutely critical and the United States wants to make sure that we’re coordinating closely on all these issues of critical concern.
Carol Lee of Politico. Where is Carol? There you go.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. How would you assess your outreach to the Muslim world at this point in your presidency, particularly in light of some of the controversies back home? And if you could, give us some of your thoughts on what it’s like to return here as President of the United States.
President Obama: Well --
Q And may I, President Yudhoyono? Obviously President Obama spent some time here as a child and I wonder what your thoughts are and what special insights that gives him into the region. Thanks very much.
President Obama: Well, I’ll take the second question first. I think it’s wonderful to be here -- although I have to tell you that when you visit a place that you spent time in as a child, as President it’s a little disorienting. First of all, as I said before, the landscape has changed completely. When I first came here it was in 1967 and people were on becaks -- which for those of you who aren’t familiar, is sort of a bicycle rickshaw thing. And if they weren’t on becaks, they were on bemos, which were -- (laughter) -- they were sort of like little taxis but you stood in the back and it was very crowded.
And now as President, I can’t even see any traffic because they block off all the streets -- (laughter) -- although my understanding is that Jakarta traffic is pretty tough. But I feel great affection for the people here. And obviously I have a sister who’s half Indonesian. My mother lived and worked here for a long time. And so the sights and the sounds and the memories all feel very familiar. And it’s wonderful to be able to come back as President and hopefully contribute to further understanding between the United States and Indonesia.
One of the things that’s striking is because it’s almost on the exact opposite side of the world, I think not enough Americans know about this great country. And hopefully my visit here will help to promote additional interest and understanding. People have heard of Bali and they’ve heard of Java, but they don’t always know how to locate it on a map back home. And I think that increasing awareness of Indonesia is something I’m very much looking forward to doing.
Obviously this is a short visit. It’s a shorter visit than I would like. My hope is, is that we’re going to be able to come back and maybe bring the kids and visit some places outside of Jakarta. When you go to -- inland, further into Java, there are just incredible places like Yogya, old ancient temples, and places that I have very fond memories of visiting when I was a kid. I’d love to do that.
With respect to outreach to the Muslim world, I think that our efforts have been earnest, sustained. We don’t expect that we are going to completely eliminate some of the misunderstandings and mistrust that have developed over a long period of time. But we do think that we’re on the right path.
So whether it’s our more active communications to press in Muslim countries, or exchange programs in which we’re having U.S. scientists and other educators visit Muslim countries, or that entrepreneurship summit that we had in Washington in which we invited young business leaders from Muslim countries all across -- all around the world -- what we’re trying to do is to make sure that we are building bridges and expanding our interactions with Muslim countries so that they’re not solely focused on security issues.
Because you come to a place like Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim population in the world, but people here have a lot of other interests, other than security -- that security is important, but I want to make sure that we are interacting with a wide range of people on a wide range of issues. And I think by broadening the relationship, it strengthens it, it builds trust, creates more people-to-people contact. That will be good for our security but it will also be good for the larger cause of understanding between the United States and the Muslim world.
So I think it’s an incomplete project. We’ve got a lot more work to do. And it’s not going to eliminate some -- or replace some tough dialogue around concrete policy issues. Those are going to continue. There are going to be some policy differences that we can’t avoid. But I do think it’s helping.
President Yudhoyono: Could you repeat your questions to me?
Q Thank you. I wanted to ask you -- obviously, President Obama spent some time here as a child. And I wonder what your thoughts are, and how that gives him special insight into the region. Thank you.
President Yudhoyono: I a few times having met with President Barack Obama, up to now one thing that I felt during our meetings, the understanding of the situation in developing countries, an understanding on the issues faced by a country like Indonesia that is often very complex. That makes it possible for President Barack Obama to see in a more clear situation what are the true challenges faced by the developing world. And therefore, the cooperation that we build between Indonesia and the United States, for example, is more precise. He understands more the challenges, the situation and obstacles that is faced by countries like Indonesia.
That's what I really felt when I met with him. And now I, too, can feel more easy to convey to him the issues that we are faced, the challenges faced by Indonesia, and therefore the agenda that we discuss together, including Comprehensive Partnership that we have discussed will be more precise and accurate for the benefit not only for Indonesia, but also for the people of the United States.
Q Good evening, President Obama, and President Yudhoyono. My question is one, and it is to President Obama, regarding to the global economic crisis that still has impacts on the economy of the world today. The President of the United States, you have created a lot of unemployment in this region, East Asia. Do you think this affects the economic cooperation between Indonesia and the United States?
And in the context of the G20, how do you see the effectiveness of the G20 to improving or the recovery efforts in the global economy? Because we still see many challenges faced by countries, especially in the area of currency.
President Obama: Well, I think that overall the G20 has been very successful in stabilizing the world economy. When you think about where we were when I first entered office and attended my first G20 meeting in April of 2009, at that point, there was great uncertainty as to whether the financial system was going to be melting down around the world.
The economies of a lot of countries, including the United States, were contracting at a severe pace. I think our economy contracted in that first question by 6 percent. World trade had drastically contracted. And in part because of the effective coordination between the G20 countries -- making sure that countries weren’t resorting to protectionism, coordinating a package of recovery programs that increased world demand, effectively intervening in the banking system and stabilizing it -- because of all those actions, what we’ve seen is that countries for the most part around the world are back on a growth pattern.
Now, you’re absolutely right that we still have a lot of work to do. And I’m going to be joining President Yudhoyono in Seoul, South Korea, to discuss the next steps that have to be taken.
One of the key steps is putting in place additional tools to encourage balanced and sustainable growth. One of the reasons that the crisis was so severe was there were huge imbalances when it comes to surpluses and deficits; our trading patterns were such where there was a lot of money floating around engaged in a lot of speculative activity.
And what we agreed to in previous meetings of the G20 is, is that we need to establish a framework for more balanced growth. We have not yet achieved that balanced growth. You’re seeing some countries run up very big surpluses and intervening significantly in the currency markets to maintain their advantage when it comes to their currency. We’ve got other countries that are in deficit. Both surplus and deficit countries would benefit if there was a more balanced program in which the surplus countries were focused on internal demand, there was a more market-based approach to the currencies, and the deficit countries thereby were able to export more -- and that would also make it easier for them to deal with their unemployment issues.
So this is going to be something that we’re going to be discussing extensively in Seoul. I’m confident we can make progress on it. It’s not going to happen all at once. But I’m very much focused on creating a win-win situation in which everybody is invested in expanding world trade, everybody is invested in increased prosperity, but we’re doing so in a way in which everybody is benefitting and not just some.
Last question on our side is Stephen Collinson of AFP.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. As the President mentioned, events in the Middle East are watched very closely here. Does Israel’s advanced planning for more than a thousand new homes in Jerusalem undermine trust between the parties and undermine your peace efforts?
And if I may just ask President Yudhoyono, is ASEAN ready for the more advanced role in world affairs the U.S. would like to see it play, and should the U.S. engagement -- renewed engagement be seen in any way as a counterbalance to a rising China?
President Obama: I have not -- I’ve been out of town, so I’m just seeing the press reports. I have not had a full briefing on Israel’s intentions and what they’ve communicated to our administration. But this kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations. And I’m concerned that we’re not seeing each side made the extra effort involved to get a breakthrough that could finally create a framework for a secure Israel living side and side -- side by side in peace with a sovereign Palestine.
We’re going to keep on working on it, though, because it is in the world’s interest, it is in the interest of the people of Israel, and it is in the interest of the Palestinian people to achieve that settlement, to achieve that agreement. But each of these incremental steps can end up breaking down trust between the parties.
Even though it wasn’t directed to me, I do want to just chime in briefly on the issue of China. We want China to succeed and prosper. It’s good for the United States if China continues on the path of development that it’s on.
That means that, first of all, just from a humanitarian point of view, lifting millions of people out of poverty is a good thing. It is also a huge expanding market where America then can sell goods and services and so we think China being prosperous and secure is a positive. And we’re not interested in containing that process. We want China to continue to achieve its development goals.
We do want to make sure that everybody is operating within an international framework and sets of rules in which countries recognize their responsibilities to each other. That’s true for the United States. That’s true for China. That’s true for Indonesia. It’s true for all of us. And the more that we have international mechanisms in which people say we have rights, we also have responsibilities, we’re going to abide by them, we’re going to hold each other accountable, the better off we’ll all be.
President Yudhoyono: Yes, the views that I have of the future of our region, the region of Asia, including East Asia and Southeast Asia, all wish to have a region that is experiencing development, including economic development. This region should continue to be a region that is stable, a region that is peaceful and a region that is safe.
In this regard, the community that is built upon an Asia, an East Asia also, and also a framework now through the East Asia Summit framework, we have the responsibility to -- in one area, to ensure that the cooperation in the region, especially in the area of economic cooperation, can contribute significantly to the development of the global economy that will bring benefit for all humanity.
On the other spot of the coin, we also have the responsibility to ensure stability and security in our region. I am not using any theory or the theory of one power to counterbalance the other powers. But I do have the view that there must be some form of dynamic equilibrium in Asia Pacific, in East and Southeast Asia. And the formation of such regional cooperation such that is East Asia Summit, where there are 10 countries from ASEAN and there is also China, Republic of Korea, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, and now Russia and the United States, therefore, I have faith that it will be more effective to ensure peace, stability and order in this region.
And in this regard, with such a condition, such cooperation in the area of economic will go effectively and it is Indonesia’s hope that China and the U.S. relations will continue to flow well because if something happens between those two states, it will have severe impacts to not only countries in the region, in Asia, but also to the world.
For that reason, I hope that the economic relations between the U.S. and China will continue to proceed well, despite the geopolitical developments. We also hope to contribute to creating a region in East Asia, in Southeast Asia, and especially in Asia Pacific, to become a region that is stable and productive.
That is my views in general on the regional architecture issues and the future cooperation in our region.
Thank you very much.
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the joint press conference. Thank you very much.
7:16 P.M. WIT
Source: www.whitehouse.gov, www.obamafoodorama.blogspot.com