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Pres. Obama Discusses U.S.-Indonesia Partnership That Includes Improving Health, Science

During a stop in Indonesia on Tuesday as part of his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour, President Barack Obama together with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a U.S.-Indonesia partnership that “will encompass a variety of key issues such as science, technology, health and trade. A special emphasis was placed on education and climate change,” United Press International reports (Lasagni, 11/9).

Environmental News Service describes several steps made earlier this year to establish the Comprehensive Partnership between Indonesia and the U.S. that Obama and Yudhoyono discussed on Tuesday: “In March, the two nations signed a Science and Technology Agreement providing a legal framework for expanded bilateral cooperation and collaboration on science-based decision making, health sciences, energy, marine research, and the environment” (11/9).

A White House statement released after Obama’s meeting with President Yudhoyono elaborates on the partnerships between the U.S. and Indonesia, writing “[t]he U.S. National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center[s] for Disease Control [and Prevention], and USAID are working with Indonesia to increase cooperation on research and to strengthen Indonesia’s public health sector” (11/9).

Additionally, “[t]he Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government foreign aid agency, is negotiating a large, multi-year compact to promote economic growth and poverty reduction, for submission to its Board of Directors in 2011,” ENS adds (11/9). “The negotiations are focused on three thematic areas: green prosperity, access to economic opportunities, and governance,” according to the White House statement (11/9).

Obama arrived in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, ahead of the G20 Summit, CNN reports. “The president’s visit to Seoul will include a meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao,” according to the news service (11/10).