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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa are scheduled for a series of diplomatic meetings in the coming months.

The six areas of cooperation and assistance they will discuss are: defense, energy, trade and investment, education, democracy and environmental issues.

Among the main goals of these negotiations is to increase the educational exchange between the two countries.

"The U.S. has announced a $150 million program which includes attention to higher education," said U.S. ambassador to Indonesia Cameron Hume. "Our hope at the embassy is that we will be able to double the number of Indonesian students in the United States within three years."

Also on the list of pending projects, is U.S. training for Indonesian military units. Last week, the U.S. lifted the 12-year-old ban on training Indonesia’s notorious counter terrorism unit, the Kopassus. Human rights groups criticized the move, saying the Indonesian government has not done enough to absolve the Kopassus of human rights violations in Aceh or East Timor.

"Kopassus is Indonesia’s notorious special forces,” said John Miller, the national coordinator of the East Timor & Indonesia Action Network. “Any of the major events of the last thirty, forty, fifty years in Indonesia—human rights violations by the Indonesian military from Suharto’s seizure of power in 1965 to the invasion and occupation of East Timor to ongoing conflict in West Papua—Kopassus troops have been among the leading human rights violators."

The U.S. is prohibited from providing military assistance or training to any military unit accused of human rights violations, according to the Leahy Law passed in 1997.

“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," said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.





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