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Alatas on Riady-Clinton affairs

Indonesian Foreign Minister Press Release - February 7, 1997

Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas had brushed off reports that a team from the U.S. is to come in Jakarta to inves tigate alleged illegal foreign campaign donations, saying it would be better to conduct an inquiry in America rather than come all the way to Indonesia.

"The Indonesian government has no connection whatsoever with this matter," Alatas told journalists at a breaking-of-the fast dinner in Jakarta, Wednesday (February 5).

Alatas said there was no reason for the team to talk to the Indonesian government over the matter.

Recent news reports said a Senate committee had approved the formation of a team to travel to several countries to investigate the donation made to the Democratic Party.

The report in USA Today said the team would be visiting the donors' country of origin, including Indonesia. Other countries listed were China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, Russia and Mexico.

The report also said the team would be authorized to request meetings and talk with government officials during their investigation.

Alatas reiterated the government's position: "This whole thing about Riady is his own personal affair. So don't involve the Indonesian government."

Alatas, however, he remarked that given the very personal nature of the case there was no reason to come Jakarta and discuss it with government officials.

"In fact if they want to investigate it they should do it in America where they allow those things to take place, not Indonesia," he said. (The Jakarta Post)