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January 31, 2024

The Next Indonesian Ambassador to the US Testified Before Senate

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January 31, 2024

On January 24, the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Kamala Lakhdir had  hearing before the Senate. Ambassador Lakhdir has dedicated 33 years as a career Foreign Service Officer to advancing U.S. relations with Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia (1994-1996) and Malaysia where she served as an Ambassador (2017-2021). In her testimony, she addressed U.S.-Indonesia common priority economic areas such as critical mineral supply chain and energy transition, with an emphasis of public-private partnership. She also highlighted key social issues such as women's empowerment, the rule of law, democracy and human rights. The timeline of Ambassador Lakhdir’s Senate approval and swearing in are yet to be confirmed. The hearing status can be found here and hearing video can be accessed here.
Noting the 75th US-Indonesia relation’s anniversary this year, Ambassador Lakhdir pledged to deliver on the new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership announced by President Jokowi and President Biden in November 2023. This includes improving Indonesia’s defense capabilities which was in line with Defense Secretary Austin’s recent statement in Jakarta. She is committed to collaborating with U.S. companies to expand trade and investment including in maritime, health, semiconductor sectors. Additionally, she aims to implement the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), accelerate Indonesia’s clean and renewable energy efforts, and establish a robust platform for U.S.-Indonesia cyber and digital cooperation.
Before the Senate, Ambassador Lakhdir also pledged to assist Indonesia in becoming a constructive player in critical mineral and clean energy sectors. She stated that the U.S. is committed to collaborating on environmental, labor, and safety concerns associated with mining and processing centers in Indonesia. She shared that there have been ongoing dialogues with the U.S. private sector on potential investment in Indonesia, emphasizing the priority to bring high-quality labor, safety, and environmental standards to the industry. Not only willing to working towards emission reduction, Lakhdir also pledged to maintain transparency with U.S. companies and Indonesian counterparts about the necessary efforts.
Underscoring her deep-root experience in the region, Ambassador Lakhdir reassured the Senate on her passion in promoting women’s leadership throughout Indonesia – something that has been proven to create a greater economic prosperity. Responding to the Senate’s concern on the rule of law surrounding Indonesia’s upcoming elections and the constitutional court scandal, she concurred and amplified the Senate' hope that the US must continue its efforts to promoting democracy. She also committed to work with U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham to urgently continue the engagement on Burma.

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