INDONESIA CAN BE DEMOCRATIC ROLE MODEL : US ENVOY

By Indra Arief Pribadi

    Jakarta, July 15 (Antara) – The United States Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel has stated that Indonesia can be a democratic role model for other countries with large Muslim population by maintaining its inter-religious tolerance, friendship and harmony.

         “I am glad to see several communities gathering here and making friendship. Tolerance and friendship between different religious groups could make Indonesia an example for other countries,” Marciel said in his speech at a fast-breaking dinner with several Muslim organizations here on Monday.

         Marciel, who will end his term in Indonesia this week, further explained about his best memory during three years in Indonesia.

         The Ambassador, who formerly worked as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the East Asia and Pacific Bureau, said openness and warmth of Indonesian people are the most wonderful impressions he had during his service here.

         “I cannot forget how warmly the Indonesian people have welcome me,” he said.

         He further hoped the Indonesian people could foster tolerance and mutual respect between different religious communities.

          “I believe and am optimistic tradition of tolerance and mutual respect in Indonesia will prevail,” Marciel said.

         He vowed he would keep maintaining the peace and harmony in the relations between Muslims and other communities in the United States after his departure.

         “You know, my father in California has e-mailed me and told me that a Muslim family in our hometown has invited me to a fast-breaking meeting next week,” he said.

        “If in the future I am still in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, I hope my duty is still in area in managing relationship to Indonesia,” he added.

          Meanwhile, US Embassy’s deputy chief of mission Kristen F. Bauer, who will be an Ambassador interim, said Indonesia sees challenges in maintaining peaceful relationship between majority and minority religious groups.

         She said that maintaining harmony and tolerance is not only the duty of the government, but also the duty of the community



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