SEC GATES: Thank you and good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be back in Jakarta. I just concluded a very good meeting with the president and his colleagues. We discussed a broad range of bilateral, regional and global security issues and talked about many areas where our two militaries are working together to advance our common interests.
I was pleased to be able to tell the president that as a result of Indonesian military reforms over the past decade, the ongoing professionalization of the TNI, and recent actions taken by the Ministry of Defense to address human rights issues, the United States will begin a gradual, limited program of security cooperation activities with the Indonesian Army Special Forces.
I noted to the president that these initial steps will take place within the limits of U.S. law and do not signal any lessening of the importance we place on human rights and accountability. What's more, our ability to expand upon these initial steps will depend upon continued implementation of reforms within Kopassus and TNI as a whole.
We consider this a very significant development in our military to military relationship and look forward to working even more closely with TNI in the years to come. Now, if you'll excuse me, the minister and I have to meet to discuss this and other security matters. And, I'll be meeting with the Indonesian and U.S. press later this afternoon to take your questions. Thank you.