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Indonesia, U.S. seek trilateral cooperation with Myanmar


Indonesia and the United States have been seeking trilateral cooperation with Myanmar, particularly in dealing with good governance, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Tuesday.

"As Indonesia gradually graduates in terms of its economic capacity and development, we find ourselves in the position now to partner other countries in mutually supporting one another's development efforts, including in the area of democratization and promotion of good governance," Natalegawa told reporters.

"These have been done with a number of countries bilaterally, but increasingly we are looking for innovative trilateral mechanisms with some countries...and one country that we have been looking at, that we have been working with, has been Myanmar," he added.

Natalegawa made the comments following a courtesy call paid by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the beach resort of Bali.

According to the minister, the United States and Indonesia plan to finalize Indonesia-Myanmar-U.S. cooperation on issues mostly dealing with good governance, adding that the preparations "have been quite advanced."

Natalegawa said that by the end of this year, an annual joint commission meeting between Indonesia and the United States will take place, most probably in Bali, during which the planned trilateral cooperation will be one of the issues to discuss.

Since early last year, Myanmar has achieved some progress in political reforms, encouraging the international community to gradually relax pressure and normalize relations with the once-military-ruled nation.

The reforms include the release of political prisoners, the adoption of new legislation that permits labor unions and strikes, the relaxation of press censorship and the regulation of currency practices.