US embassy cable - 06JAKARTA1823

AMBASSADOR MEETS COORDINATING MINISTER BAKRIE

Identifier: 06JAKARTA1823
Wikileaks: View 06JAKARTA1823 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Jakarta
Created: 2006-02-13 02:25:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR PGOV SOCI KFLU ID
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO3125
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1823/01 0440225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130225Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9345
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUENMED/BUMED WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 8992
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0809
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1838
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1702
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2035
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3201
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0029
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0191
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001823 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT FOR EAP/IET, A/MED AND S/ES-O 
DEPT FOR OES/FO, OES/EID, OES/PCI, OES/STC AND OES/IHA 
DEPT PASS TO USDA/FAS/DLP/HWETZEL AND FAS/ICD/LAIDIG 
DEPT ALSO PASS TO USDA/FAS/FAA/DYOUNG AND USDA/APHIS 
DEPT ALSO PASS TO USAID/ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL 
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/BILL STEIGER AND AMAR BHAT 
PARIS FOR FAS/AG MINISTER COUNSELOR 
CANBERRA FOR APHIS/DHANNAPEL 
ROME FOR FAO 
NSC FOR JMELINE 
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID/RDM/A 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO, AMED, CASC, EAGR, PGOV, SOCI, KFLU, ID, 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS COORDINATING MINISTER BAKRIE 
 
REF: A) Jakarta 1139;   B) Beijing 1431 
 
JAKARTA 00001823  001.4 OF 003 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary.  Coordinating Minister for Peoples' 
Welfare Aburizal Bakrie told the Ambassador on February 8 
that, in his view, the Beijing avian influenza (AI) 
conference had been a failure because Indonesia alone needs 
at least USD 950 million to deal with AI, but would likely 
only receive USD 150 million.  He repeatedly requested USG 
funding for two biosecurity level three (BSL-3) labs. 
Bakrie also promised to lend support to the pending bill on 
trafficking in women and children.  The Ambassador 
emphasized that close U.S. cooperation with Bakrie's 
ministry would continue and said the Embassy would be 
flexible in matching its aid programs to address the 
Minister's agenda.  The Ambassador also emphasized the 
invaluable expertise and assistance offered by the Naval 
Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-2).  Bakrie seemed unusually 
seized with the BSL-3 issue, and his claims about GOI avian 
influenza (AI) funding needs and expectations of donor 
assistance are probably unrealistic.  End Summary. 
 
USG Commitment Assured 
---------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) Accompanied by USAID Deputy Mission Director and 
ESTH Officer, Ambassador met February 8 with the new 
Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie 
to reaffirm USG support for his ministry's agenda.  The 
Ambassador began by thanking Bakrie for his excellent 
collaboration with the Embassy during his tenure as 
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and expressed 
confidence that this would continue in his new capacity. 
The Ambassador recalled the USAID's tradition of close 
collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry of Peoples' 
Welfare, especially in the areas of health, education, and 
other basic social services. 
 
3. (SBU) The Ambassador also highlighted U.S. financial and 
technical assistance in the areas of polio and avian 
influenza, including recent visits by experts from CDC 
Atlanta and the Animal Plant and Health Service (APHIS).  In 
addition, he appealed for Bakrie's assistance in ensuring a 
positive atmosphere for NAMRU-2 to continue its work in 
Indonesia.  The Ambassador commented that NAMRU-2 is an 
irreplaceable medical resource with world-class personnel 
and is an incredibly valuable resource in the fight against 
AI and other infectious diseases.  He noted the Embassy has 
passed a proposed MOU to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 
consideration. 
 
Bakrie Requests Aid 
-------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Minister Bakrie began by recalling his good working 
relations with the Ambassador during his tenure at his 
previous job and said he expects this to continue.  He 
expressed gratitude for the Embassy's collaboration and the 
USG's years of generous assistance to Indonesia and 
acknowledged the importance of NAMRU-2's contribution to 
fighting AI and other infectious diseases.  He promised to 
monitor closely the negotiations regarding NAMRU-2's status. 
 
JAKARTA 00001823  002.4 OF 003 
 
 
Bakrie asked USAID to review its assistance package vis-- 
vis his ministry's shifting priorities.  The Ambassador 
responded that the Embassy would be flexible since its 
mission is to help Indonesia develop into a peaceful, 
successful and prosperous nation. 
 
5. (SBU) Bakrie also used the occasion to repeatedly plead 
for USG funding for BSL-3 labs.  He stressed that it is 
important for Indonesia to acquire these labs and suggested 
a reconfigured USAID budget might accommodate this.  USAID 
Deputy Director Cunnane also mentioned willingness to be 
flexible when programming additional funds for AI, but noted 
USAID's limited budget.  Bakrie said the GOI needed USD 10 
million to fund two labs: one at the University of Indonesia 
in Jakarta and the other at the Bogor Institute of 
Agriculture. (Note: The latter seems better prepared in 
personnel and infrastructure to absorb such a major and 
costly upgrade).  The Ambassador noted that governments 
often must weigh how much to fund worthwhile but expensive 
labs versus basic infrastructure.  For instance, the 
Ambassador noted that polio's reappearance in Indonesia 
after a decade's absence reflects the dangers posed by a 
neglected national health infrastructure, although he 
admitted that Indonesia's polio problem is also partly due 
to the challenges posed by decentralized power. He said he 
understood that Japan and Indonesia were interested in 
building BSL-3 labs through the Ministry of Agriculture, a 
possibility that elicited a Bakrie scoff about "high-cost" 
loans. 
 
Beijing Conference "a Failure?" 
------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Bakrie also bemoaned the "failure" of the donor 
pledging conference in Beijing (Ref B), noting that while 
the World Bank was pleased with the USD 1.9 billion pledged 
for five years, Indonesia alone needed at least USD 950 
million to deal with avian influenza (AI).  He confided that 
while his government had hoped for USD 700 million, rumor 
had it that Indonesia would probably receive USD 150 million 
over three years, a sum he dismissed as "peanuts".  He added 
that the GOI planned to budget USD 150 million over three 
years to address avian influenza.  (Note: The Ministry of 
Agriculture received USD 11.5 and 19.9 million for AI in 
2005 and 2006 respectively (Ref A), and we believe the 
Health Ministry's AI budget could be on the same order of 
magnitude. End Note.) 
 
Other Issues 
------------ 
 
7. (SBU) The Ambassador also took the opportunity to invite 
the Minister to the launching February 15 of USAID-funded 
"Safe Water Systems" (Aman Tirta) project or Air RahMat. The 
project provides simple low-cost technology to treat water 
and is designed to purify water at the household level. 
Bakrie accepted the invitation, noting that it was indeed a 
worthwhile program.  The Ambassador also urged Bakrie to 
support the pending bill on trafficking in women and 
children, which he said was a very good bill that enjoyed 
support in parliament (the DPR).  Bakrie promised to lend 
 
JAKARTA 00001823  003.4 OF 003 
 
 
support to the bill.  In closing, the Ambassador reiterated 
the Embassy's commitment to stay the course in helping 
Indonesia and promised that the Embassy would remain mindful 
of the GOI shifting socioeconomic priorities in designing 
its assistance package. 
 
8. (SBU) Comment: Bakrie is new to his job, and we take his 
comments about the Beijing conference with a grain of salt. 
His approach to discussions with donors about resources 
shows the influence of his long experience in dealing with 
international creditors as a businessman--he often throws 
very large numbers on the table with the full understanding 
that the final figure will be much more modest. 
 
PASCOE 

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