August 5, 2018 | Lao Tribune

Daily Archives August 5, 2018

Bolivian Independence Day

On behalf of the United States government, congratulations to the people of Bolivia on the 193rd anniversary of your independence.The United States and the people of Bolivia enjoy a deep and long-standing relationship based on shared values, including ...Read More

Interview With Kania Sutisnawinata of Metro TV

QUESTION: Secretary Pompeo, thank you again for this opportunity.

SECRETARY POMPEO: It's great to be with you.

QUESTION: It's such a pleasure to have you here in Jakarta, Indonesia.

SECRETARY POMPEO: It's wonderful to be here.

QUESTION: I understand this is your first visit.

SECRETARY POMPEO: It's my first trip to Jakarta (inaudible).

QUESTION: Okay, so I want to start off with your visit here to Indonesia. I know that Indonesia and the U.S. will mark its 70th year in diplomatic relations next year. How would you describe the current relationship between Indonesia and the U.S.?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It's wonderful and important for the United States, an incredibly strategic relationship � two of the world's largest democracies, now 70 years of diplomatic relations. I think we do wonderful things with our support of Indonesia, and right back Indonesia does great things that are important for the American people too. It's a strong relationship. The leadership here works closely with our team, and we are doing great things together.

QUESTION: Okay. Indonesia is also home to the largest Muslim population in the world, and it's a functioning democracy, which the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised during his visit here to Indonesia. Why is this the kind of democracy that the U.S. supports?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So we support democracies all across the world; it's really important. This is a country that has demonstrated the capacity to elect officials, hold democratic processes, the kinds of values that America has embraced since its beginning, and it's wonderful to have a strategic partner like Indonesia who demonstrates that value set as well.

QUESTION: In terms of democratic stability, how important is democratic stability in Indonesia, and how does it play � how does it play as a role in maintaining regional stability?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, it's a great � it's a great beacon for the rest of the region. The democratic value set that's here in Indonesia shows the region and the world that you can have democracy and be successful. We always think that's important. We're convinced that this model of governance � the democratic model, where you have individuals with human dignity and freedom and all the rights that accrue by being a human being � makes for countries that are incredibly successful and a great partner for the United States.

QUESTION: Okay. In terms of trade and investment, Secretary, what is the kind of trading partner that the U.S. expects out of Indonesia? What are the areas of concern that the U.S. has against Indonesia?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Indonesia has long been a great trading partner. President Trump wants to trade with Asia. He wants to trade with Indonesia. We think the trade between our two countries is incredibly important. We do want to make sure when we're trading, we're doing it in a way that is fair and reciprocal, that respects the people of each of the two countries, and I'm convinced that our two countries will continue to do that in a way that benefits the American people and, importantly, the Indonesian people as well.

QUESTION: The reason why I'm asking you this is because we're watching closely, and the world, including Indonesia, is concerned about the trade war unfolding between the U.S. and China. What does the U.S. expect out of this?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, remember, the country that has the high tariffs and the high barriers is China, not the United States. The country that attempts to use its economic power to dominate this region is China, not the United States. We simply want free and open, fair trade, reciprocal trade; and when we do that, we are confident that we will be a great partner. We have no intention of dominating Indonesia. China will always have a role here. We want to be a great partner for Indonesia so that they can continue to have all the successes that the Indonesian people deserve.

QUESTION: And going back into the investment climate here in Indonesia, I wanted to ask you about the Freeport-McMoRan deal that was recently concluded between the Indonesian Government and Freeport. Do you think the deal was a win-win situation for both sides?

SECRETARY POMPEO: You know, I don't want to comment on a particular dispute, but we should always strive to make sure that our countries or the businesses working in your country get outcomes that benefit both. It's got to be successful for any Indonesian business to invest in America; the same thing for an American company that invests here. But it needs to be a deal that is good for the people of the country in which that business is being done as well. So I'm confident that the Indonesian country will get to a place where we will have a win-win outcome for both the Indonesian people and the business.

QUESTION: Next year Indonesia will hold its �

SECRETARY POMPEO: Big election year.

QUESTION: Big election year, presidential election. How closely is the U.S. watching this election next year, and what are your thoughts about the leading contenders � Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I'm going to go meet the current leader here today. I am very much looking forward to that. He's done good work. But we don't engage in choosing candidates; the Indonesian people engage in choosing candidates. And I am very confident we'll have a good election, a fair election, where candidates will compete and demonstrate why they're the right leader for the country, and that's what America is counting on.

QUESTION: I have one more question about Iran, just a really quick question.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Sure.

QUESTION: You know, this is something that we're closely watching as well. From what I understand, President Trump is looking to meet with Iran's President Rouhani. From what I understand, he declined to meet. Does this mean that the negotiations have failed, and what will the U.S. do next?

SECRETARY POMPEO: The Islamic Republic of Iran, a Shia-dominated government, has treated its people very poorly, and that's led to terror. They're the world's largest state sponsor of terror. That's what America is trying to get Iran to stop doing. That's the behavioral change that we're looking for from the Iranian regime.

Whether there is a deal that could be had or whether discussions are appropriate, the President has always said he is prepared to talk, but it's important that Iran has to be committed to changing its ways in order for those discussions to prove of any value.

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you very much, Secretary Pompeo.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much. It's wonderful to be with you. Yes, ma'am, thank you.

Source: U.S. State Department

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MALAYSIA CONTRIBUTES US$100,000 TO LAOS DAM COLLAPSE VICTIMS

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia Malaysia will contribute US$100,000 to Laos following the collapse of a dam that caused more than 1,400 people to be homeless and over 100 missing. Wisma Putra (Malaysia's Foreign Ministry) in a statement yesterday said Foreign Aff...Read More

Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Joint ...

1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Julie Bishop, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Taro Kono, and the Secretary of State for the United States, Michael R. Pompeo, met in Singapore on August 4, 2018 for the eighth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD).

2. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the trilateral strategic partnership and of deepening coordination between Australia, Japan and the United States. They underscored their commitment to working together to maintain and promote a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They committed to work through partnership with countries in the region to uphold a rules-based order, including to ensure that: disputes are resolved peacefully in accordance with international law and without the threat or use of force; states are resilient to coercion; freedom of navigation and overflight and other internationally lawful uses of the sea are upheld; and markets remain open.

3. The Ministers noted the achievements of ASEAN in fostering regional peace and prosperity, including through its role as the convenor of the regional security architecture. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN centrality and unity, and underlined the value of the East Asia Summit (EAS) as the region's premier Leaders-led forum for addressing political-security challenges. The Ministers recognized the important role of other Indo-Pacific forums, including the Indian Ocean Rim Association and Pacific Islands Forum, in facilitating dialogue on regional issues of importance. The Ministers shared their intention to further strengthen trilateral cooperation to promote the security, stability, resilience, and economic and governance development of countries throughout the region, including the Pacific Island countries.

4. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the international community's goal for the final, fully verified denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as agreed by Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK. The Ministers reiterated that the international community needs to achieve the dismantlement of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.The Ministers welcomed discussions between the United States and the DPRK, and called on the DPRK to take immediate, significant and concrete steps towards denuclearization. The Ministers noted the DPRK's potential to be a prosperous and successful member of the region. The Ministers called on all members of the international community to maintain pressure on the DPRK, including through the full implementation of UNSC resolutions.

5. The Ministers welcomed North Korea's return of the remains of fallen service members from the Korean War on 27 July 2018, as part of fulfilling the DPRK's commitments in the U.S � DPRK Joint Statement dated 12 June 2018, and encouraged North Korea to take further action toward fulfilling all of its commitments in that statement, including to complete denuclearization. The Ministers also called on the DPRK to end human rights violations and abuses, and to immediately release all foreign nationals being held in North Korea, including Japanese abductees.

6. The Ministers expressed serious concerns about developments in the South China Sea (SCS), including the deployment of advanced weapons systems on disputed features. The Ministers voiced strong opposition to coercive unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions such as land reclamation, construction of outposts, militarization of disputed features, and other actions that cause permanent physical change to the marine environment in areas pending delimitation.

7. The Ministers underscored the importance of the July 2016 Philippines-China Arbitral Tribunal's Award for the two parties. The Ministers emphasized the importance of non-militarization of disputed features, resolving disputes through full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without the threat or use of force and in accordance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and full respect for freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas in the SCS and around the world.

8. The Ministers acknowledged recent movement towards a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the SCS. Ministers called for the CoC to be: consistent with existing international law, as reflected in UNCLOS; to not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of all states under international law; to reinforce existing regional architecture; and to strengthen parties' commitments to cease actions that would complicate or escalate disputes.

9. The Ministers shared their intention to remain in close communication about the situation in the East China Sea and expressed strong opposition to any coercive unilateral actions that seek to alter the status quo and increase tensions in the area.

10. The Ministers welcomed ongoing trilateral cooperation on capacity building for maritime security and safety in Southeast Asia and committed to enhancing cooperation in this area, as well as with Pacific Island countries in close consultation with those countries. The Ministers resolved to advance this cooperation through ongoing exchanges of information on regional needs. The Ministers reiterated the commitment of the three nations to continue coordinating their respective assistance programs, in consultation with partners, and to identify ways they can more closely collaborate in the future.

11. The Ministers emphasized the importance of enhancing connectivity through the development of sustainable infrastructure in an open, transparent, non-exclusive, and financially responsible manner, in accordance with international standards, that unlocks the potential of the private sector to invest in the region and help close the infrastructure gap. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed growing cooperation among TSD partners to address the significant infrastructure investment needs in the Indo-Pacific, including the announcement of a trilateral partnership between the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation for infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific.

12. The Ministers expressed their concern that states and their proxies are increasingly willing to pursue their objectives by undertaking malicious cyber activities. The Ministers affirmed that the rules-based international order must encompass online activities. The Ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to promote an international stability framework for cyberspace based on the application of existing international law to state behaviour in cyberspace, adherence to voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in peacetime, and the implementation of confidence building measures, supported by coordinated capacity building programs. The Ministers decided to deepen practical cooperation to better deter, mitigate, publicly attribute, and counter malicious cyber activity, and provide clear and consistent messaging of the consequences of such activity. The Ministers resolved to continue to call out unacceptable behaviour in cyberspace.

13. The Ministers discussed ways to work together to counter terrorism and violent extremism, including through trilateral counter-terrorism consultations. The Ministers resolved to coordinate on protecting soft targets and countering terrorist financing. The Ministers also resolved to advocate for and strengthen existing information sharing mechanisms, and to combat the flow of foreign terrorist fighters both to and from conflict areas. The Ministers expressed their concerns regarding the potential for ongoing violent extremist activity in the southern Philippines. They urged increased cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to counter such terrorist activity and pledged their continued support for these efforts.

14. The Ministers are committed to meeting regularly, and to deepening cooperation with each other, and with partners, to promote strong and sustainable growth, including by supporting good governance, the rule of law and human rights. They directed officials to explore possible new areas of practical cooperation in support of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Source: U.S. State Department

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Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Joint ...

1. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Julie Bishop, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Taro Kono, and the Secretary of State for the United States, Michael R. Pompeo, met in Singapore on August 4, 2018 for the eighth ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD).

2. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the trilateral strategic partnership and of deepening coordination between Australia, Japan and the United States. They underscored their commitment to working together to maintain and promote a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They committed to work through partnership with countries in the region to uphold a rules-based order, including to ensure that: disputes are resolved peacefully in accordance with international law and without the threat or use of force; states are resilient to coercion; freedom of navigation and overflight and other internationally lawful uses of the sea are upheld; and markets remain open.

3. The Ministers noted the achievements of ASEAN in fostering regional peace and prosperity, including through its role as the convenor of the regional security architecture. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for ASEAN centrality and unity, and underlined the value of the East Asia Summit (EAS) as the region's premier Leaders-led forum for addressing political-security challenges. The Ministers recognized the important role of other Indo-Pacific forums, including the Indian Ocean Rim Association and Pacific Islands Forum, in facilitating dialogue on regional issues of importance. The Ministers shared their intention to further strengthen trilateral cooperation to promote the security, stability, resilience, and economic and governance development of countries throughout the region, including the Pacific Island countries.

4. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the international community's goal for the final, fully verified denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as agreed by Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK. The Ministers reiterated that the international community needs to achieve the dismantlement of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in accordance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.The Ministers welcomed discussions between the United States and the DPRK, and called on the DPRK to take immediate, significant and concrete steps towards denuclearization. The Ministers noted the DPRK's potential to be a prosperous and successful member of the region. The Ministers called on all members of the international community to maintain pressure on the DPRK, including through the full implementation of UNSC resolutions.

5. The Ministers welcomed North Korea's return of the remains of fallen service members from the Korean War on 27 July 2018, as part of fulfilling the DPRK's commitments in the U.S � DPRK Joint Statement dated 12 June 2018, and encouraged North Korea to take further action toward fulfilling all of its commitments in that statement, including to complete denuclearization. The Ministers also called on the DPRK to end human rights violations and abuses, and to immediately release all foreign nationals being held in North Korea, including Japanese abductees.

6. The Ministers expressed serious concerns about developments in the South China Sea (SCS), including the deployment of advanced weapons systems on disputed features. The Ministers voiced strong opposition to coercive unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions such as land reclamation, construction of outposts, militarization of disputed features, and other actions that cause permanent physical change to the marine environment in areas pending delimitation.

7. The Ministers underscored the importance of the July 2016 Philippines-China Arbitral Tribunal's Award for the two parties. The Ministers emphasized the importance of non-militarization of disputed features, resolving disputes through full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without the threat or use of force and in accordance with international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and full respect for freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the seas in the SCS and around the world.

8. The Ministers acknowledged recent movement towards a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the SCS. Ministers called for the CoC to be: consistent with existing international law, as reflected in UNCLOS; to not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of all states under international law; to reinforce existing regional architecture; and to strengthen parties' commitments to cease actions that would complicate or escalate disputes.

9. The Ministers shared their intention to remain in close communication about the situation in the East China Sea and expressed strong opposition to any coercive unilateral actions that seek to alter the status quo and increase tensions in the area.

10. The Ministers welcomed ongoing trilateral cooperation on capacity building for maritime security and safety in Southeast Asia and committed to enhancing cooperation in this area, as well as with Pacific Island countries in close consultation with those countries. The Ministers resolved to advance this cooperation through ongoing exchanges of information on regional needs. The Ministers reiterated the commitment of the three nations to continue coordinating their respective assistance programs, in consultation with partners, and to identify ways they can more closely collaborate in the future.

11. The Ministers emphasized the importance of enhancing connectivity through the development of sustainable infrastructure in an open, transparent, non-exclusive, and financially responsible manner, in accordance with international standards, that unlocks the potential of the private sector to invest in the region and help close the infrastructure gap. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed growing cooperation among TSD partners to address the significant infrastructure investment needs in the Indo-Pacific, including the announcement of a trilateral partnership between the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation for infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific.

12. The Ministers expressed their concern that states and their proxies are increasingly willing to pursue their objectives by undertaking malicious cyber activities. The Ministers affirmed that the rules-based international order must encompass online activities. The Ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to promote an international stability framework for cyberspace based on the application of existing international law to state behaviour in cyberspace, adherence to voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in peacetime, and the implementation of confidence building measures, supported by coordinated capacity building programs. The Ministers decided to deepen practical cooperation to better deter, mitigate, publicly attribute, and counter malicious cyber activity, and provide clear and consistent messaging of the consequences of such activity. The Ministers resolved to continue to call out unacceptable behaviour in cyberspace.

13. The Ministers discussed ways to work together to counter terrorism and violent extremism, including through trilateral counter-terrorism consultations. The Ministers resolved to coordinate on protecting soft targets and countering terrorist financing. The Ministers also resolved to advocate for and strengthen existing information sharing mechanisms, and to combat the flow of foreign terrorist fighters both to and from conflict areas. The Ministers expressed their concerns regarding the potential for ongoing violent extremist activity in the southern Philippines. They urged increased cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to counter such terrorist activity and pledged their continued support for these efforts.

14. The Ministers are committed to meeting regularly, and to deepening cooperation with each other, and with partners, to promote strong and sustainable growth, including by supporting good governance, the rule of law and human rights. They directed officials to explore possible new areas of practical cooperation in support of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Source: U.S. State Department

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