Indonesia, U.S. sign deal on peace corps

21:45, December 11, 2009      

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Indonesia and the United States have signed an accord to allow the U.S. peace corps to help Indonesia in educational field, Antara news agency reported on Friday.

The agreement was signed by U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs William J Burns and Deputy for Political, Legal Defense and Security Affairs to the Indonesian National Development Planning Ministry Bambang Sutedjo.

The peace corps program was designated to strengthen bilateral relations at grass-roots level.

Under the program, the United States would, among others, send English-language teachers for schools and universities in Indonesia,

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the Indonesia-U.S. consultation meeting in Jakarta chaired by director general for America and Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Retno LP Marsudi,

"It is hoped this program can improve Indonesia-U.S. relationship not only at government level but also at the grass-root level," Retno said.

"The partnership will encourage the United States and Indonesia to work side by side in the educational field while advancing a greater mutual understanding," Burns said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed U.S. desire to resume the peace corps program in Indonesia during her visit to Indonesia in February 2009.

The peace corps program was initiated in 1961 by U.S. former President John F. Kennedy to build world peace and friendship. The program had once been implemented in Indonesia in 1963-1965.

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