Thu, February 19, 2009
Video > News/Media > Hillary Clinton kicks off Asian tour

Clinton hails Indonesia ties

2009-02-19 06:42:03 GMT2009-02-19 14:42:03 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

INTRO: The U.S. Secretary of State visits Jakarta, and calls for a comprehensive partnership with the world's most populous Muslim state.

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The 24-hour visit to Indonesia is part of a four-nation tour of Asia that also includes Japan, South Korea and China.

STORY:

It's her first international tour as U.S. Secretary of State. And Hillary Clinton says it's no accident that it includes a visit to Indonesia.

Her arrival in the world's most populous Muslim state is intended to demonstrate President Barack Obama's desire to forge better U.S. relations with the Islamic world.

And where better to start, than in the city the new U.S. president once called home.

Despite some demonstrators condemning the U.S. as a colonising force in the region, the Secretary of State says the U.S. and Indonesia both seek to form a comprehensive partnership;

(SOUNDBITE)(English) HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, SAYING:

"One that provides a framework for advancing our common interests on a range of regional and global issues, from environmental protection and climate change to trade and investment, from democracy promotion to health and education, from regional security to counter terrorism."

With only 24 hours in Jakarta, Clinton has described her visit to the Indonesian capital as a "listening tour".

And she's been keen to hear proposals regarding one regional issue in particular;

(SOUNDBITE)(English) HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE SAYING:

"We want to seek the best ideas about how to influence the Burmese regime and we are looking at every possible idea that can be presented. Clearly, the path we have taken in imposing sanctions hasn't influenced the Burmese junta, but as the minister pointed out at our working meeting, reaching out and trying to engage them hasn't influenced them either."

Clinton's visit to Indonesia is part of a four-country tour that also takes in Japan, South Korea and China.

It establishes Asia as a clear priority for the new U.S. administration.

Peter Parker, Reuters

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