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22 November 2005

U.S. To Resume Select Military Assistance to Indonesia

Aid to modernize Indonesia's military forces, support joint security objectives

The United States will resume Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Indonesia in selected areas of military assistance, the State Department announced November 22.

FMF will cover specific military programs and units that will help modernize Indonesia's military as well as support U.S. and Indonesian joint objectives such as counterterrorism and maritime security, according to the State Department.

The United States also resumed International Military Education and Training (IMET) for Indonesia in February. The program had been restricted due to insufficient cooperation from the Indonesian military in investigating the August 2002 murders of two American citizens in Papua province. Nonlethal foreign military sales (FMS) were resumed in May. (See related article.)

"The U.S. remains committed to pressing for accountability for past human rights abuses, and U.S. assistance will continue to be guided by Indonesia's progress on democratic reform and accountability," the statement says.

For information on U.S. policy in the region, see East Asia and the Pacific.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
November 22, 2005

STATEMENT BY SEAN MCCORMACK, SPOKESMAN

Indonesia -- National Security Waiver/Foreign Military Financing

Under authority delegated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is traveling outside of the United States, Under Secretary for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns has determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to waive conditionality pertaining to Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and defense exports to Indonesia, in accordance with Section 599F(b) of the FY 2006 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-102).

The decision will allow the United States to resume selected areas of military assistance for Indonesia.  It continues the process of military reengagement with Indonesia that included the Secretary's decision to resume International Military Education and Training (IMET) in February, and her decision to resume non-lethal Foreign Military Sales (FMS) in May.

The Administration considers the relationship between the United States and Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy, to be of the utmost importance.  Indonesia plays a unique strategic role in Southeast Asia.  As the world's most populous majority-Muslim nation, Indonesia is a voice of moderation in the Islamic world.  It also plays a key role in guaranteeing security in the strategic sea lanes in Asia and is a leading member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  Indonesia has made significant progress in advancing its democratic institutions and practices in a relatively short time.

In resuming Foreign Military Financing, the Administration plans to provide assistance for specific military programs and units that will help modernize the Indonesian military, provide further incentives for reform of the Indonesian military, and support U.S. and Indonesian security objectives, including counterterrorism, maritime security and disaster relief.  The U.S. remains committed to pressing for accountability for past human rights abuses, and U.S. assistance will continue to be guided by Indonesia's progress on democratic reform and accountability.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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