Thu 21 Dec 2006
Filed under: News,Regional
The United States wants to cooperate closely withÂ Indonesia when it takes its seat on the United Nations Security Council next year, especially on international issuesÂ like the Palestine-Israel conflict, the Iraq war, the Iranian nuclear controversy and Myanmar, an official says.
The U.S. State Department’s principal deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of International OrganizationÂ Affairs, James B. Warlick, said he was in the country to meet with officials, people from the private sector, andÂ academics to sound out how Indonesia would likely address international issues at the council.
“I am here to learn about what your views are on many of the issues at the Security Council, and discuss how weÂ Â can work together effectively in the council,” Warlick said Tuesday.
He has also extended an invitation for an Indonesian delegation to come to Washington for talks
He said the U.S. expected that Indonesia, as a leader in the region, would have valuable perspectives on the issuesÂ discussed on the council.
Warlick said former foreign minister Ali Alatas told him the U.S. did not have to “worry” about IndonesiaÂ on the council because the two countries shared many values.
“That means a lot. That means we can work with you even though we don’t always agree on peace and security.Â As a democracy, a leader in the region and a respected voice in the international community, I think you will bring aÂ lot to the council and countries currently sitting in the council will look up to Indonesia for these reasons,” he said.
On the Israel-Palestine conflict, Warlick said the UN would put a focus on solving Middle East conflicts through the Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.
With Indonesia sitting on the council, he said, the country would have an important role in addressing some of the most difficult issues in the region.
The United States, Warlick said, wanted Palestinian political party Hamas to become a responsible player in the region by accepting the Quartet principle, the roadmap and the two-state solution in which it recognized Israel’s right to exist.
“It’s very difficult for us to understand why Hamas can’t accept that, while the rest of the world has. If we’re going to move ahead, we need a Palestinian authority that recognizes a two-state solution … It would be very difficult for the United Nations and the Quartet to make a progress on problems if it didn’t accept the Quartet,” he said.
Warlick urged countries in the United Nations and the Security Council to use the organization to solve the conflict, instead of isolating and embarrassing Israel and the U.S.
On Iraq, Warlick said his trip to Indonesia was also to seek details about President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s “triple-track” proposal for resolving Iraq’s problems.
“We’d like to learn more from him (Yudhoyono) … because Indonesia has some unique abilities to help in this regard. So, we’re interested in hearing more about the proposal, so that we can seriously consider it,” he said.
On Iranian nuclear issue, Warlick said, the U.S. was prepared to talk with the country if it stopped its nuclear enrichment program.
“Iran will be one of the issues that will be a big challenge for Indonesia on the council. This week, the council will make a resolution on Iran,” he said.
Warlick said Myanmar would be the first high-profile case Indonesia had to face on the council.
“We put Burma (Myanmar) on the agenda of the Security Council because it is not just an internal issue for the Burmese but it is an issue of peace and security to the region…And it’s getting worse by the day.”Â “We have a resolution on Burma to make the current Burmese government accountable for its actions. We hope we can adopt it early next month.
We believe that the Indonesian government can be very helpful. We have shared the text of the resolution and hope Indonesia can suggest how it can be improved,” he said.
In August, the country was elected a non-permanent member on the council for the 2007-2008 term.