Hillary scores early goal in US-Indonesian relations
18 February 2009
by Wimar Witoelar
Hillary Rodham Clinton said:
I've been to Indonesia before and I am very impressed at its record of successful change in the last years. Its economy until this contraction has been growing. Its democracy has been more vibrant. Women have played a larger role in business and government.
It is the world's largest Muslim nation, but it is also an example for the benefits of a dynamic economy and democracy.
I think that what you're finding with the Obama administration, and certainly with President Obama's leadership, is that we want to reach out the rest of the world. We want them to know that we are coming in to power with a view that can learn, that we can listen, not just dictate. We hope we'll be able to work with people of good faith. It's a very open invitation
As the President has said: "We'll reach out our hand if you unclench your fist."
Interviewed by NBC News for the Today Show, Wimar Witoelar said that the visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is seen as a reaffirmation of the hope held around the world that the Obama administration will contribute to a more humane and secure world.
On the national television network TVRI, Wimar expressed his confidence that President Obama will find his way in the treacherous waters of international politics because of his confidence as a citizen of the world, knowing the world as a pluralistic and largely tolerant place. He also points out that Mme Clinton is an integral part of the Obama team that will endorse soft power and smart power in the world, instead of the divisive policies of the past.
Discussing Clinton visit on national television TVRI
News reports amply present the concrete results of Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda, stating that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has positively responded to Indonesia's proposal for a US-Indonesia partnership by announcing February 13 that the US is "committed to working with Indonesia to pursue such a partnership with a concrete agenda." Following her February 18 meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, Secretary Clinton further noted that the partnership would be "comprehensive" and may include such global and regional topics as environmental protection and climate change, trade and investment, democracy promotion, health, education, regional security, and counter-terrorism.
Among those who turned out at the airport to welcome Mrs Clinton were 44 children from his former primary school, singing traditional folk songs and waving Indonesian and US flags