Jakarta. The United States ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan on Monday (06/02) reaffirmed Indonesia’s role as an important and strategic partner to the US.
Speaking at a public lecture in the Islamic boarding school Pondok Pesantren Daar El-Qolam in Tangerang, the ambassador touched on the recent outcome of the US election and steps taken by the new presidential administration.
"Although I cannot predict the future, I can tell you that your country [Indonesia] will remain an important and strategic partner of the United States," Donovan said.
Donovan went on to explain that he believes in tolerance, kindness and respect for the religious beliefs of others as the right way to live. The ambassador took time to share his own story, being the descendant of an economic refugee, the husband of a Taiwanese woman and the father of biracial children.
"So when you hear stories about America in the news, I hope you will think about my story and recognize that America, like Indonesia, is a diverse nation with many stories. And that like Indonesia, tolerance and respect is a source of our strength and our inspiration," Donovan said.
Donovan added that while these values are questioned from time to time, he is confident that they will always prevail, drawing on the unique similarity between Indonesia and the United States as countries of rich diversity.
Donovan also stressed that during his tender in Indonesia, he will focus on increasing trade and investment between the US and Indonesia that are beneficial to both nations, including development of clean energy alternatives, increasing opportunities in aviation sector as well as supporting Indonesia’s efforts in protecting the earth's ecosystem.
Addressing criticism on the US travel ban on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, Donovan said US President Donald Trump’s executive order is meant to improve safety and security on US borders.
"There are more than 40 Muslim-majority nations that are not included in the president’s executive order, and the applied order is temporary," Donovan said. Indonesia is one of the countries not included in the travel ban.
Over the weekend, the US Federal Court issued a ruling that has temporarily blocked President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. The decision applies nationwide.