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Bush On Indonesia

The United States recognizes the commitment of Indonesia's leaders to strengthen democratic institutions and government. During his visit to Indonesia, President George W. Bush praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for understanding that pursuing economic reform, fighting corruption, and investing in the Indonesian people will help his country succeed.

Mr. Bush cited a fifty-five million dollar U.S. Millennium Challenge grant to Indonesia. "We would not have made this commitment," he told President Yudhoyono, "if you were, yourself, not committed to reform."

President Yudhoyono said U-S assistance of various kinds, as well as U-S aid delivered after the December 2004 tsunami and the May 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta and central Java, show "solidarity and cooperation between the two countries."

The United States has provided more than one-hundred-fifty million dollars to help Indonesia modernize its education system. "One thousand schools spread across eight provinces in Indonesia are now benefiting from our education partnership," President Bush said. Indonesia, he told President Yudhoyono, is "an example of how democracy and modernization can provide an alternative to extremism":

"Your democracy is making Indonesia strong and better able to play a positive role in Southeast Asia and the world."

President Bush also commented on the large anti-American demonstrations that took place during his visit:

"I applaud a society where people are free to come and express their opinion."

It is to Indonesia's credit, said President Bush, "that it's a society where people are able to protest and say what they think."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.