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Murder of Americans in Indonesia

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MCCONNELL. I appreciate my friend's comments, and believe he is right that the absence of a credible investigation into these murders will have repercussions. While we all recognize that Indonesia continues on a difficult path of political and economic reform—at the same time being a frontline state on the war on terrorism—the Government of Indonesia cannot and should not underestimate the seriousness of the crimes committed in Papua and the need to bring justice to the victims and their families.

Mr. ALLARD. I understand that the Federal Bureau of Investigations may be in Indonesia in the very near future to assist in investigating this crime. Does the chairman share my support for the FBI's involvement in this case?

Mr. MCCONNELL. Absolutely. The FBI should pursue all leads, and determine whether the reports of the Indonesian military's involvement in the ambush are accurate and credible.

For the benefit of my colleagues, let me take a moment to describe the Indonesia provisions in the fiscal year 2003 bill. We earmark funds for Indonesia, including $10 million for the fragile peace agreement in Aceh and $5 million for reconstruction efforts in Bali. The bill does not contain restrictions on the International Military Education and Training program for that country but maintains the conditions on assistance under the Foreign Military Financing program. The fiscal year 2003 request for IMET is $400,000, which is slightly less than that requested for Sri Lanka.

Mr. ALLARD. The Foreign Operations bill strikes an appropriate balance between our national security interests in that vast archipelago and the realities of a developing Indonesia. I want to be on record that I will continue to closely follow the investigation into the murder of Americans in Papua last year and I encourage the Chairman and all my colleagues to pay attention to that case.

I also recommend that the administration report to Congress on a regular and ongoing basis into the progress the Government of Indonesia is making into resolving these murders.

Mr. MCCONNELL. My friend from Colorado's advice is excellent, and I hope that Secretary Powell will take note to the request for regular briefings into the murder of American citizens in Indonesia.

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