No Budget Spends to Lobby President Jokowi-Obama Meeting
Date 7 November 2015
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi asserted that the Indonesian Government did not used lobbyist in preparing the Presidential visit to US, including to manage the meeting between President Joko Jokowi Widodo and President Barack Obama, at the White House, Washington D.C., on 26 October 2015.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs did not use a lobbyist nor spent budget to pay the lobbyist in preparation of the Presidential visit to US, the Minister said in a press conference, in Jakarta, on Saturday (7/11).
The statement was delivered by the Minister responding the news in several social media regarding the rumor of US$ 80.000 payment to a public relation company in Las Vegas to lobby the US side so that Indonesia can have the opportunity and access to the Washington.
Foreign Affairs Minister asserted that the news in social media which sourced from confession of a US journalist is incorrect. Even though the Minister admitted that it was difficult to arrange a billateral meeting, yet the Minister said that Indonesian Government never used a broker.
To hold billateral meeting between countries seems to be easy. However, it took many time. Because when the invitation delivered verbally it usually followed by a written invitation, the Minister explained.
According to Retno, the preparation of President Jokowis visit to US is arranged by related officials and ministers officially and formally through several meetings, both with the US Government or internal meeting with Indonesian Government.
I personally led meetings on the preparation of President visit at ministerial level thrice, i.e. on 17 September, 7 October and 17 October 2015. Thus, there were three preparation meetings at ministerial level, Retno said.
Minister Retno Marsudi also mentioned that she had a billateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on 22 September 2015. In the meeting, once again we discussed the plan to visit the US and announced the plan of President Jokowi to visit the US on 26 October 2015, she said.
According to the Minister, initial talks regarding the visit of Indonesias President to US occured during the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Beijing, China, at the end of 2014.
On 10 November 2014, during the meeting of APEC, President Jokowi and President Obama had a billateral meeting and President Obama verbally invited President Jokowi to visit the US.
To follow up the meeting on APEC, Minister of Foreign Affairs added, on March 2015, President Obamas adviser, Dr. Evan Medeiros conducted a special visit to Indonesia to deliver an official invitation from President Obama to President Jokowi.
All data are well recorded and in the preparation, our team has coordinated with other ministries and institutions, Retno Marsudi said.
Previously on the press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia said that through intensive preparation, the meeting brought more than 18 business agreements worth more than US$ 20 billion and numerous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of United States and Indonesia.
The visit will also enhance the relations between the two countries so they become a more strategic partner, the Minister added in her press release. (Kemlu/ES) (RAS/MMB/YM/Naster)