PM Netanyahu: Disagreements with US 'temporary'

PM Netanyahu and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henri Kissinger. November 10, 2010 ( Photo by Avi Ochayon GPO )

November 10, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) --- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down the heat Wednesday and said differences of opinion between the US and Israel were "temporary." On Tuesday, the prime minister responded with unprecedented vigor to US declarations against renewed settlement construction but on Wednesday, during a meeting with senior figures from US media, he spoke in more conciliatory terms.

The "differences" reached a peak when US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said construction in east Jerusalem was not conducive to the negotiations. Netanyahu retorted that Jerusalem is not a settlement.

During the meeting in New York, the prime minister was asked about differences of opinion between the US and Israel. He asserted that such differences were only temporary. He added that in his dealings with the US administration, he concentrated on issues that would have long-term effects on any peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu detailed the Israeli government's position on Iran and the peace process. He is expected to meet Clinton on Thursday to discuss the need to reach wide-ranging understandings with the US about Israeli security needs in light of the significant security challenges expected in the coming decade.

He said the chances of achieving a peace deal would be much greater if security understandings could be reached with the US. He is also expected to raise the issue of peace agreements with a wider circle of Arab states in parallel to an agreement with the Palestinians.



Indonesian volcano's death toll rises to 191

Boys look at the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano in Manisrenggo village, in the Klaten district of Indonesia's central Java province Nov 10, 2010. Mount Merapi showed lethargic signs on Wednesday but authorities would not lower down its alert status because of its intense seismic activities, the head of the country's vulcanolology agency said. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Andry Prasetyo )

November 10, 2010 (KATAKAMI / CNN) -- The toll from recent eruptions of Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano has climbed to 191 dead and 145 seriously injured, government officials said Wednesday.
Scores of others have suffered less severe injuries, said Dr. Sigit Priohutomo, of the Merapi Disaster Health Team.

Recent eruptions of Merapi started on October 26, displacing 200,000 people, relief agencies such as Plan Indonesia have estimated.

On Wednesday, volcanic ash from Merapi forced airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways to cancel flights at the Yogyakarta and Jakarta airports, airport officials said.

The threat of ash also prompted the early departure of U.S. President Barack Obama from Indonesia. Obama, who was visiting on a 10-day tour of Asia, left early for South Korea, where he is to attend the G-20 summit.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called the volcano eruptions a crisis situation. On Sunday, he and several of his ministers visited Yogyakarta to oversee relief efforts.

The president has announced that residents will receive compensation for livelihoods and animals lost to the eruptions. The government will buy endangered cows on the volcano, Yudhoyono said. Many of those who live on its slopes raise cattle and risked their lives by staying or returning to feed their cows during lulls of volcanic activity.

Ash columns from Merapi's recent eruptions have risen as high as 6 kilometers (3.7 miles), according to the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency.

An ash cloud that hit a village near the crater was about 450 to 600 degrees Celsius (842 to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the Indonesian Volcanology Technology Development and Assessment Agency.
The 3,000-meter (9,800-foot) Merapi, in Central Java, is famously unpredictable. About 1,300 people died when it erupted in 1930.


Officials ready Suu Kyi's "Nov 13" release

Aung San Suu Kyi

November 10, 2010 YANGON (KATAKAMI / CHANNEL NEWS ASIA) --- : Security preparations are under way for the expected release of Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the next few days, officials in the military-ruled country said Wednesday.

"We haven't got any instruction from superiors for her release yet. But we are preparing security plans for November 13," a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the past two decades locked up, had her detention extended by 18 months in August last year over a bizarre incident in which an American man swam uninvited to her lakeside home.

Her lawyers say the current period of detention started with her imprisonment on May 14 last year and they expect her to be freed on Saturday.

Another official, who also did not want to be named, said: "We don't have the order yet. It will be at the last minute."

Nyan Win, a spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), said the party had compiled a list of members who would meet Suu Kyi after her release.

"We will draw up a plan for the future after she meets with these people," Nyan Win, who is also one of Suu Kyi's lawyers, told AFP.

He said her party had not received any information from the authorities about when she would be released.

"They never told us in advance in the past. But what I want to say is they should inform her when she will be freed. That's why we will ask them today (with a letter) to inform us about the matter," he said.


Volcano ash forces flight cancellations in Indonesia

Mount Merapi spews volcanic material as seen from Wukirsari, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010 (AP Photo)

November 10, 2010 Jakarta, Indonesia (KATAKAMI / CNN) -- Volcanic ash spewing from Indonesia's Mount Merapi has forced some airlines to cancel flights out of Jakarta's international airport, airport officials said Wednesday.

Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways had canceled flights at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, airport spokesman Andang Santoso said. Singapore Airlines said it was continuing to fly.

Large clouds of gas and dust from Merapi's recent eruptions also have forced some flight cancellations into and out of the Yogyakarta airport.

Travelers were asked to check with their airlines for schedule changes.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama shortened his visit to the Indonesian capital because of concerns that volcanic ash could ground Air Force One in Jakarta, according to administration officials.

Recent eruptions of Merapi, which started on October 26, have killed at least 156 people, officials at Sardjito hospital have said. The eruptions also have displaced an estimated 200,000 people.

The 3,000-meter (9,800-foot) Merapi, in Central Java, is famously unpredictable. About 1,300 people died when Merapi erupted in 1930.


Indonesia's Mount Merapi Volcanic ash disrupts Jetstar flights to Bali

Ash clouds from volcano Mt Merapi in Java have caused disruptions to Jetstar's flight schedule in Bali. (AFP: Clara Prima)

November 10, 2010 (KATAKAMI / ABC.NET.AU) - Jetstar has been forced to cancel and reschedule flights to and from Bali because of an ash plume from Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano.

The airline is Australia's most frequent carrier to Bali, with four flights out of Australia each day.

But it has stopped night flights to the island because pilots need to make visual checks on approach to the Denpasar airport.

Tonight's flight from Darwin to Denpasar has been cancelled and a flight from Melbourne to Denpasar was re-routed to Darwin yesterday.

Another flight from Denpasar to Darwin is due to land in Darwin this afternoon - almost 12 hours later than scheduled.

The airline has rescheduled its Sydney-to-Denpasar service to ensure all flights to Bali land in daylight hours.

"It allows our pilots to have full visual scope of coming into and out of Denpasar International Airport airspace and we're doing that purely as a precautionary measure in line with high safety standards," Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said.

The airline is offering passengers a range of options to compensate them for any interruptions to their travel.


David Cameron focuses on democracy in China speech

Mr Cameron has been joined by four cabinet ministers and 43 business leaders on the trip
November 10, 2010  (KATAKAMI / BBC) --- David Cameron is expected to promote the benefits of democracy in a keynote speech to Chinese students in Beijing.

He is expected to say that political freedom and the rule of law provide the best path to stability and prosperity.

He will acknowledge British society is "not perfect" and insist that he is not trying to place the UK in a position of "moral superiority" over China.

The prime minister is on a two-day trade mission but has been urged to address China's record on human rights.

He has said he will not "lecture and hector" China over political freedoms and human rights. His aides have said the speech is intended in a spirit of frank dialogue, rather than criticism.

But he will say better governance is promoted by institutions such as Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons and an official opposition, by forcing leaders to listen to criticism and adapt their policies in response.

The existence of a judiciary able to strike down unlawful official actions "make our government better and our country stronger", he will say.

And those who hold different views from the government are able to take part in public debate through a free media.

"We believe that the better informed the British public is about the issues affecting our society... the easier it is, ultimately, for the British government to come to sensible decisions and to develop robust policies that command the confidence of our people, " he will say.

'Mutual respect' 

Mr Cameron is expected to acknowledge that leading a country of 1.3 billion people raises difficulties of a different order from those of a nation of 60 million.

Speaking to students at Beida University he will add: "I make these observations not because I believe that we have some moral superiority.

"Our own society is not perfect. There is still injustice which we must work hard to tackle. We are far from immune from poverty and the ills that afflict every nation on earth."

But he will say: "In arguing for a strong relationship between our countries, I want a relationship in which we can be open with each other, in which we can have a constructive dialogue of give and take in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

"The rise in economic freedom in China in recent years has been hugely beneficial to China and to the world.

"I hope that in time this will lead to a greater political opening... because I am convinced that the best guarantor of prosperity and stability is for economic and political progress to go in step together."

On Tuesday, Mr Cameron raised the issue of human rights during talks with the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, but did not refer directly to jailed dissident and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiabo.
But BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron was expected to talk specifically about this later in the visit, which aims to promote trade.

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who says he was recently put under house arrest by the Chinese authorities, said Mr Cameron must make a public statement about China's human rights record.

He suggested that by avoiding the matter, the prime minister he was putting trade ahead of human rights
Mr Cameron, who is joined by four cabinet ministers and 43 business leaders, called the trip a "vitally important trade mission".

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has won a $1.2bn (£750m) contract - the biggest of the visit so far - which is to supply a Chinese airline with Trent 700 engines for 16 Airbus A330 aircraft, along with long-term servicing.

On Wednesday, Mr Cameron will visit the Great Wall of China and meet President Hu Jintao before flying on to the G20 summit in South Korea.

image of Nick  Robinson Nick Robinson BBC political editor :
It is a reminder of how limited is the power of our government to even express deep concern let alone do anything about China's continued policy of repression and opposition to democracy”

UK's Cameron meets Chinese President Hu

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with China's President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 10, 2010. Cameron set out the benefits of multi-party democracy, the rule of law and a free media on Wednesday in comments that are likely to rile his hosts China. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic )

November 10, 2010 BEIJING  (KATAKAMI / AP) – British Prime Minister David Cameron met China's top leader Wednesday in a bid to boost business ties and told President Hu Jintao he was committed to expanding relations.

Cameron, who is being accompanied by four Cabinet ministers and about 50 business leaders, was to deliver a speech emphasizing Britain's importance as a world power and Chinese trading partner after meeting with Hu.

"We put the highest value on the Britain-China relationship, I hope that this visit will further strengthen it," Cameron told Hu at the start of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, home to China's legislature in the heart of the capital.

Human rights and global security concerns surrounding Iran and North Korea appear to have taken a back seat during the China visit, although Cameron has said he would raise those issues in his talks with Wen and Hu.

Last year, China was Britain's third-largest source of imports and ninth-largest export market. Cameron has said he hopes to see annual bilateral trade double by 2015 to more than $100 billion, including $30 billion per year in British exports.

Among the contracts signed so far is a $1.2 billion deal for jet engine maker Rolls-Royce to provide engines for 16 A330 jets operated by China Eastern Airlines.

On Tuesday, Cameron met with Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People after a formal welcoming ceremony.

"My new government does highly value the relationship between Britain and China, and we believe that this is an area where there should be great continuity with the last government who helped establish this very strong relationship," he said.

The two-day visit is Cameron's second major foray to court an emerging economy since taking office in May. He went to India in July.

Underscoring his support for British businesses, Cameron's first stop after arriving Tuesday was a Beijing branch of British supermarket chain Tesco, which has nearly 100 outlets in China and plans to add another 20 by year end.

Cameron is joined by executives from Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Tesco PLC, Barclays bank and Diageo PLC, among others. Treasury chief George Osborne, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and Education Secretary Michael Gove are also on the trip.

Cameron's visit comes on the heels of Hu's trip to France and Portugal last week that resulted in $20 billion worth of contracts for French and European companies. Wen visited several European countries in September and October, conveying pledges to strengthen trade and purchase Greek bonds.

Cameron's visit is the first by a British leader since China executed a 53-year-old British man, Akmal Shaikh, for drug smuggling in December, despite an official appeal on his behalf from London. The execution drew condemnation from British politicians and rights groups who argued Shaikh was delusional and had unwittingly been exploited by criminals.


Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Seoul on official visit

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

November 10, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) --- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in Seoul, where he will hold bilateral talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak and take part in a G20 summit.

During their two-day talks, Medvedev and Lee will discuss cooperation between the countries in the energy, space, shipbuilding, fishing and military spheres during Medvedev's visit to Seoul, Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.

More than twenty documents, including a roadmap on Russian gas supplies to South Korea, are expected to be signed during the talks, the second meeting between Medvedev and Lee in the past two month.
The two leaders are going to discuss the diversification of economic cooperation between the countries, particularly by increasing exports of hi-tech equipment.

"The parties intend to begin drawing up a joint partnership program aimed at modernization and innovative development," Prikhodko said.

Telecommunication, banking, the commercialization of innovative technologies, and environmental protection have been named as spheres of strategic cooperation between the countries, he added.
The issues of regional cooperation, especially in Siberia and the Far East, are also on the agenda, Prikhodko said.

Medvedev and Lee are also expected to address the North Korean nuclear issue during their talks.
The Russian president told South Korean media on the eve of his visit to Seoul that implementation of three-party projects between Russia and South and North Korea would help normalize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The construction of a pipeline to pump Russian gas via North Korea, linking the Trans-Korean Railroad with the Trans-Siberian Railway and the construction of an electricity transmission line between Russia and South Korea are among such projects. However, Medvedev said the implementation of such projects will only be possible if "tensions reduce on the Korean Peninsula and if the two Koreas follow the path of national reconciliation."

"We would like to give an additional impetus to negotiations on the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects," Prikhodko said. "Direct support of the South Korean authorities will certainly be very important."

Lee and Medvedev last met in Moscow in 2008, when the two presidents agreed to step up bilateral cooperation, including in international effort to resolve tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

MOSCOW, November 10 (RIA Novosti)

PM Benjamin Netanyahu : Construction in Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

November 09, 2010 (KATAKAMI / PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE) --- Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.  Israel has never accepted upon itself restrictions of any kind on construction in Jerusalem, which has approximately 800,000 residents, including during the ten months in which construction was suspended in Judea and Samaria.

Israel sees no connection between the diplomatic process and planning and building policy in Jerusalem, which has not changed in 40 years.  All Israeli governments in the past 40 years have built in all parts of the city.  During this period, peace agreements were signed with Egypt and Jordan, and for 17 years, diplomatic negotiations have been conducted with the Palestinians.  These are historical facts.  Construction in Jerusalem has never hindered the peace process.

The disagreements with the US over Jerusalem are well-known.  They are not new and have continued for 40 years.  We hope to overcome them and continue to advance the diplomatic negotiations.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking forward to his planned Thursday meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in order to advance the peace talks.  (*)

PM Netanyahu : “Jerusalem is not a settlement, Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In US, Netanyahu says Israel sees no connection between peace process and construction in the capital. ‘All Israeli governments have built in all parts of the city for 40 years, and we still signed peace deals with Egypt, Jordan,’ premier adds.

November 09, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has toughened his stance ahead his scheduled meeting with the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Thursday, rejecting any American and international criticism regarding building in east Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem is not a settlement – Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel. Israel has never restricted itself regarding any kind of building in the city, which is home to some 800,000 people – including during the 10-month construction moratorium in the West Bank,” the PM said Tuesday.

“Israel sees no connection between the peace process and the planning and building policy in Jerusalem, something that hasn’t changed for the past 40 years. All Israeli governments have built in all parts of the city in the past 40 years.

“During this time,” he added, “We have signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and have held negotiations with the Palestinians for 17 years. Construction in Jerusalem has never obstructed the peace process.”

Netanyahu spoke just hours after US President Barack Obama told a press conference in Indonesia that Israeli construction in east Jerusalem “is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.”

The Israeli premier added that “the disagreements between Israel and the US regarding Jerusalem are well-known, and I hope to overcome them and move the peace talks forward. We intend to advance the peace negotiations during Thursday’s meeting with Secretary of State Clinton.”

On Monday, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee approved the construction of 32 housing units in the eastern part of Pisgat Ze’ev, a neighborhood located beyond the Green Line.

The construction, which has been a bone of contention in the international community, was approved during Netanyahu’s visit to the United States.



Finland supports visa-free travel between Russia, EU

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) talks with his Finland's counterpart Tarja Halonen at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow November 8, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin )
November 09, 2010 (KATAKAMI/ RIA NOVOSTI) --- Finland supports the bilateral cancellation of visa requirements between Russia and the European Union, the country's president Tarja Halonen said on Tuesday.

Moscow has made visa-free travel between Russia and the EU a foreign policy priority.

"Finland is among the EU states that support a visa-free regime," she said. "The European Union and Russia should agree on practical measures required to make progress on the issue, quickly and with regard to all issues, including security."

Russia submitted a draft agreement on scrapping the visa regime to the EU at the Russia-EU summit in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on May 31.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rebuked the EU in late September for dragging its heels on the issue, saying that Russia wanted a "clear answer."

MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti)

Terimakasih TNI Polri Yang Ada Bersama Rakyat Saat Indonesia Penuh Bencana

Anggota pasukan khusus KOPASSUS menggunakan masker unuk melakukan pencarian dan evakuasi korban tewas di daerah Pejambon, Sleman, DI Yogyakarta (8 November 2010). Photo : BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images

Photostream : Indonesian Elite Forces (Kopassus) and rescue team evacuated the victims of Mount Merapi eruption http://wp.me/pYE9h-37D

PHOTOSTREAM : Indonesian Elite Forces, We Love You Full Soldier !

Baret Merah Tak Pernah Mati, KOMANDO !!!

Jakarta 09/11/2010 (KATAKAMI) --- Hanya beberapa jam sebelum Presiden Amerika Serikat Barack Obama mendarat di Jakarta, sebuah pesan singkat yang sangat "tajam" di jejaring sosial Twitter datang dari Ketua Komisi I DPR-RI Mahfudz Siddiq dari Fraksi Partai Keadilan Sejahtera :

Jika Obama msh persoalkan Kopassus, silakan berkunjung ke Merapi.  Oke?

Sesungguhnya bisa diartikan, pesan sederhana ini adalah sebuah kritikan tentang "nyinyirnya" sejumlah pihak Amerika jika sudah berbicara tentang militer Indonesia.

Seolah-olah, militer Indonesia itu adalah sesuatu yang pantas untuk selalu direcoki karena begitu layak direndahkan.

Lepas dari segala kelebihan atau kekurangan Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI), rakyat Indonesia seakan tak rela kalau TNI dinistakan, direndahkan derajatnya dan disama-ratakan dengan kasta terendah dalam kehidupan ini.

Arogansi dari pihak manapun yang secara sengaja merecoki, merendahkan dan menistakan TNI ke titik terendah, perlu membuka mata dan telinga mereka tentang bagaimana pengabdian dan kerja keras TNI dalam melakukan misi-misi kemanusiaan disaat Indonesia sedang berduka yaitu tertimpa bencana demi bencana seperti yang terjadi belakangan ini.

Tak cuma TNI, POLRI juga ikut merapatkan barisan dalam memberikan pertolongan mereka kepada korban di berbagai lokasi bencana.

TB. HASANUDDIN, SE, MM, Wakil Ketua Komisi I DPR-RI dari Fraksi PDI Perjuangan

Lewat wawancara dengan KATAKAMI.COM, Selasa (09/11/2010) di Jakarta, TB Hassanudin Anggota Komisi I dari Fraksi PDI Perjuangan secara tegas mengkritik kecenderungan Amerika untuk terus menerus meributkan masalah-masalah pelanggaran HAM yang dikaitkan dengan TNI.

"Kita harus sampaikan pada Obama bahwa Indonesia bukan bagian dari Amerika. Ingat itu ! Dan Amerika juga bukan bagian dari Indonesia. Amerika perlu belajarlah untuk bergaul secara lebih baik dengan banyak negara di dunia ini" kata TB Hassanudin.

Lebih jauh, TB Hassanudin mengatakan bahwa Obama dan Amerika secara keseluruhan perlu mengingat satu hal yang sangat penting bahwa Indonesia tidak pernah latah atau lancang merecoki "keberadaan" Amerika di Afghanistan dan Irak.

"Kita tidak pernah mempermasalahkan keberadaan Amerika di Afghanistan dan Irak kan. Jadi kenapa Amerika ribut sendiri soal Indonesia ? Bahwa Indonesia memang memiliki sesuatu yang harus diperbaiki, ya oke ... kami akan memperbaiki dan pasti mampu mengatasinya. Kenapa sibuk sekali bicara miring soal militer Indonesia ?" lanjut TB Hassanudin.

TB Hassanudin yang juga merupakan mantan Sekretaris Militer di era kepemimpinan Presiden Megawati Soekarnoputri ini memberikan penghargaan kepada TNI / POLRI yang terus bahu-membahu membantu rakyat yang sedang tertimpa kesusahan di berbagai lokasi bencana.

"Saya bicara tentang TNI ya. Sejak TNI dilahirkan, memang dikondisikan untuk selalu berada di tengah-tengah rakyat. Bahwa ada pasang surut dalam perjalanan TNI ... misalnya dikaitkan dengan pelanggaran HAM atau masuk dalam dunia perpolitikan, itu sisi lain. Tetapi dalam menangani bencana apapun, TNI adalah yang paling solid. Sebab man power yang ada dalam TNI itu stand by 24 jam dalam sehari" ungkap TB Hassanudin.

TB Hassanudin menambahkan bahwa pemerintah memang bisa memanfaatkan kemampuan atau skill yang dimiliki TNI dalam menangani bencana.

"Bila terjadi bencana nasional di negara manapun yang ada didunia ini maka orang pertama yang dikirimkan untuk memberikan bantuan adalah militer. Khusus untuk TNI, mereka bisa ditugaskan untuk ikut menangani dampak bencana. Tetapi sebaiknya penanggung-jawab diserahkan kepada badan lain. Sebab tugas pokoknya berbeda. TNI ditugaskan untuk bertempur" kata TB Hassanudin.

Jenderal TNI (Purnawirawan) Ryamizard Ryacudu, Mantan KSAD

Dukungan terhadap TNI juga datang dari Jenderal TNI (Purnawirawan) Ryamizard Ryacudu selaku mantan Kepala Staf TNI Angkatan Darat.

"Yang paling suka menjelek-jelekkan kita dari pihak Amerika ini kan hanya segelintir saja. Ribut saja soal HAM. Dan kalau saya ditanya soal Obama, dia ini kan anak muda. Saya cuma bicara singkat sajalah. Pemerintah Amerika tidak usah mengkritik TNI. Sebab setahu saya, Obama itu sama Jenderal bintang empat di negaranya saja tidak cocok. Siapa itu namanya ? Jenderal Stanley McChrystal kan. Dia ini komandan tertinggi dalam perang di Afghanistan. Militer Amerika ini, khusus Jenderal-Jenderal mereka adalah para perwira tinggi yang bagus-bagus dan  profesional. Jadi kalau ada perwira tinggi bintang 4 mengecam kepala negaranya maka artinya ada yang salah dari si kepala negara itu. Sebab Komandan Tertinggi adalah orang yang paling mengetahui situasi di lapangan. Jadi tidak perlu mengkritik militer negara lain. Introspeksi diri sendiri dululah" kata Jenderal Ryamizard Ryacudu kepada KATAKAMI.COM dalam sebuah kesempatan.

Ryamizard Ryacudu percaya bahwa TNI akan selalu ada bersama rakyat Indonesia dalam keadaan apapun juga.

Yorrys Raweyai, Anggota Komisi I DPR-RI dari Fraksi Partai Golkar

Sementara itu, Yorrys Raweyai Anggota Komisi I dari Fraksi Partai Golkar juga menyampaikan apresiasi yang tinggi atas kerja keras TNI ( dan POLRI ) dalam menangani berbagai bencana di Indonesia.

"Begini ya, dari semua bencana apapun yang terjadi di Indonesia, sudah pasti yang tercepat untuk memberikan pertolongan di lokasi bencana itu adalah TNI  dan POLRI. Khususnya TNI ya. Dan dimana-mana selalu begitu. Di negara manapun, militer pasti pihak pertama yang dikerahkan untuk memberikan pertolongan pertama dalam bencana dalam skala apapun" kata Yorrys Raweyai.

Menurutnya, TNI memang yang paling siap dan sigap dalam menangani bencana.

"Coba kita lihat, badan atau instansi mana di Indonesia ini yang memiliki kemampuan yang paling lengkap untuk menangani bencana ? Cuma TNI yang bisa melakukan itu. Tentu Polri juga berperan dalam menangani bencana. jadi kita harus menghargai mereka. Itu sebabnya, kami di Komisi I sedang mengusahakan agar didalam Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), unsur TNI dimasukkan didalamnya" ungkap Yorrys Raweyai.

Anggota TNI (KOPASSUS) dan POLRI melakukan proses evakuasi terhadap korban tewas di Desa Argomulyo, DI Yogyakarta ( 5 November 2010). Photo : AP Photo/Gembong Nusantara)
Jadi, seperti kata pepatah, "Anjing menggonggong, khalilah berlalu".

Biarkan pihak lain berbicara buruk tentang Indonesia ( khususnya TNI ). Sebab yang paling mengetahui sisi baik dan buruk dari negara kita adalah kita sendiri.

Jika memang ada sesuatu yang salah maka kesalahan itu harus diperbaiki sesuai aturan dan ketentuan Undang Undang yang berlalu.

Saat ini Indonesia sedang berduka.

Langit di atas Indonesia memang sangat amat mendung dan seakan gelap gulita.

Di Wasior (Papua), di Mentawai (Sumatera Barat) dan khususnya di Gunung Merapi ( DI Yogyakarta), terjadi bencana alam yang sangat beruntun.

Korban tewas begitu banyak di 3 lokasi bencana alam ini.

Bersama tim relawan, TNI / POLRI masih sangat dibutuhkan untuk memberikan pertolongan yang maksimal di lokasi-lokasi bencana.

Duka Indonesia adalah duka yang sangat dirasakan juga oleh TNI / POLRI.

Sehingga merekalah yang sangat dibutuhkan dan paling bisa diandalkan untuk memberikan pertolongan seluas-luasnya kepada para korban ( terutama dalam masa tanggap darurat seperti saat ini ).

Terimakasih TNI / POLRI.

Berbuatlah lebih tulus dan lebih banyak lagi dalam perjalanan pengabdian kalian bagi bangsa, negara dan rakyat Indonesia.

Sebab pengabdian tidak mengenal batas ruang dan waktu.

Kami, rakyat Indonesia, mencintai kalian dengan cinta yang begitu kuat berselimutkan rasa nasionalisme yang sangat amat tinggi.

Dan menutup tulisan ini, ingin rasanya sekali lagi menyampaikan pujian untuk TNI dan POLRI.
Ode adalah syair (kehidupan) yang berisi pujian secara tulus.

Ode untuk TNI / POLRI adalah untaian pujian yang sangat tulus atas kerja keras dan pengorbanan TNI / POLRI di lokasi-lokasi bencana yang terjadi di wilayah Indonesia.

Ketika lagu berjudul Ibu Pertiwi dikumandangkan di saat Indonesia berduka, bersama TNI / POLRI duka demi duka, bencana demi bencana, terlalui dengan penuh rasa kebersamaan yang sangat kuat antar anak bangsa Indonesia.

Sekali lagi, terimakasih TNI / POLRI.

Janganlah berhenti mengabdikan diri dan terus melakukan yang terbaik bagi kebaikan bangsa, negara dan rakyat Indonesia.


Kulihat ibu pertiwi
Sedang bersusah hati
Air matamu berlinang
Mas intanmu terkenang
Hutan gunung sawah lautan
Simpanan kekayaan
Kini ibu sedang susah
Merintih dan berdoa

Kulihat ibu pertiwi
Kami datang berbakti
Lihatlah putra-putrimu
Menggembirakan ibu
Ibu kami tetap cinta
Putramu yang setia
Mmenjaga harta pusaka
Untuk nusa dan bangsa


Hamas invites Ahamdinejad to Gaza

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad smiles while attending the 17th International Festival and Fair of Press and News Agencies closing ceremony in Tehran November 1, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl )

Islamist group calls on Iranian president to visit Strip after his October tour of Lebanon, however estimates say visit unlikely to take place.

November 09, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) --- Hamas has invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad to visit the Gaza Strip on Monday. Ahmed Youssef, deputy Hamas foreign minister told Iranian news agency Fars that a visit from the Iranian president would lift the spirits of "the resistance front" as it did with Hezbollah in Lebanon last month.

"We are certain his visit would be very significant," Youssef said in an interview with the news agency. Iran has yet to provide an official response to the invitation, however such a visit is unlikely to take place as Iranian officials do not usually visit the Gaza Strip, despite politically supporting Hamas.

Hamas sources confirmed that Ahmadinejad had been invited to Gaza as part of Palestinian efforts to break the blockade. They told Ynet that the Iranian president had a positive response to the invitation. Nevertheless, Gaza elements estimated the visit is not likely to occur in the near future. 

Last month, Ahmadinejad held his first visit to Lebanon, during which he met with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. Tens of thousands of Lebanese rallied in his honor across the country including in Bint Jbeil and Kafr Kana.

Ahmadinejad's visit was meant to send a message of support to Hezbollah and assist the Shiite group in its internal conflict ahead of an international report on the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.


Israel plans 1,300 Housing Units in Jerusalem

A construction site in the Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa in east Jerusalem, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010. The Israeli government is moving ahead with plans to build nearly 1,300 apartments in disputed east Jerusalem, an official said Monday, a move sure to escalate frictions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American officials during his current visit to the United States. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

November 09, 2010. JERUSALEM (KATAKAMI / IsraelNationalNews.com / Reuters) – The Jerusalem regional planning and building commission published plans over the weekend for building more than 1,300 housing units in the capital.

Almost a thousand are planned for the Har Homa neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, while 320 are planned for the northern neighborhood of Ramot,  the Interior Ministry said on Monday, despite fierce opposition from Palestinians.
The timing of the announcement could prove an embarrassment for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in the United States looking for ways to revive Middle East peace talks that have stalled over the issue of Jewish settlement building.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said plans for some 1,300 Jewish housing units in two neighborhoods on land Israel seized in a 1967 war had been made public, passing another procedural stage toward eventual construction.

She said the public could still raise objections to the plans and it could take a long time before building commenced.

"It can take months or years from this point until building can actually begin, or even before tenders for building are issued," Orbach said.

The United States said it was "deeply disappointed" by news of the housing project.

"It is counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, adding that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was expected to bring the matter up in a meeting with Netanyahu in New York on Thursday.

At a meeting in New York with former President Bill Clinton, Netanyahu was asked by reporters to comment on the U.S. criticism.

"You know, President Clinton and I have a lot of things to discuss, but this particular issue I'm going to discuss, I'm sure, with Mrs Clinton on Thursday, so you can ask me then," Netanyahu said.

Earlier, Netanyahu held talks at the United Nations with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who the U.N. press office said "expressed concern at the resumption of settlement activity and recent announcements of further settlement construction in East Jerusalem."


Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in September almost as soon as they had begun, after Netanyahu rebuffed Palestinian demands to extend a partial freeze on West Bank settlement building.

The limited moratorium did not include construction work in areas Israel considers part of Jerusalem.
An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out any return to negotiations as long as Israel continued to build and called on the United States to act against the Jewish state so that the talks could restart.

"Israel is continuing to create obstacles ... There will be no return to negotiations while Israel pursues settlement activities," Nabil Abu Rdainah told Reuters.

"(Netanyahu) is giving a signal to the Americans that (Israel) will not agree to halt settlements ... We demand that the U.S. administration take practical steps to resume the peace process, there will not be a peace treaty without having East Jerusalem as the capital of (the) state of Palestine," he added.
The State Department's Crowley said the United States was seeking to understand the background to the announcement, and said "it could very well be that somebody in Israel has made this known in order to embarrass the prime minister and to undermine the process."

"This is expressly why we have been encouraging the parties to remain in direct negotiations, to return to direct negotiations and to work through these issues face-to-face," he told a news briefing.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank, in 1967 and regards all of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they hope to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


PM Netanyahu, UN's Ban discuss peace process, Ghajar withdrawal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at U.N. headquarters November 8, 2010 in New York City. Israeli media reported that Netanyahu will announce the Israeli withdrawal from Ghajar, a village straddling the Lebanese-Israeli border. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slams UNESCO decision to classify ancient Jewish holy site as mosque, saying 'historical facts should not be distorted in the name of politics.'

November 09, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) --- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held talks late Monday on the stalled Middle East peace talks and the planned Israeli withdrawal from a site on the Lebanese border.

The two issued a readout of their meeting at UN headquarters in New York, according to which the "secretary general and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the ongoing efforts to move the Middle East peace process forward."

"The secretary general emphasized that it was vital to break the current diplomatic stalemate, resume negotiations and produce results," the statement said.

Peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have been stalled since September, when an Israeli moratorium on settlement activity ended. The Palestinians want the freeze extended to continue talks, and Washington has unsuccessfully tried to convince Netanyahu to do so. US President Barack Obama oversaw the relaunching of the direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in early September, only to see them falter once the settlement freeze expired on the 26th of the month.

Ban said he expressed concern at the resumption of the Israeli settlement activities and recent announcements of further settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The two leaders also discussed the "current proposals on the issue of Ghajar," a reference to Israel's plan to end its occupation of the village with 2,200 inhabitants on the Lebanon-Israel border.

Haaretz had reported that Netanyahu planned to announce a withdrawal from Ghajar and the return of control of the village to Lebanon. The planned withdrawal would comply with UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ordered a ceasefire in the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli Defense Forces in 2006.

The two leaders also reportedly "reviewed the regional situation, including Iran," in addition to Ban's urging that Israel "ease the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza."

Netanyahu also referred to a recent controversial ruling by the UN's cultural agency, according to which West Bank heritage sites holy to both Jews and Muslims, such as Rachel's Tomb, would be considered Palestinian.

The ancient tomb, which lies between Jerusalem and the nearby Palestinian-controlled city of Bethlehem, is traditionally regarded as the burial place of a biblical matriarch and is holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Speaking during his meeting with the UN chief, the PM said that the "the profound link between the Jewish people and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb had existed for close to 4,000 years."
"Over a billion people know of this bond and it is documented in the Bible," Netanyahu said, adding that "historical facts should not be distorted in the name of politics. That would only injure the UN's stature and the way serious people around the world regard it."

Last week, Israel said it would reduce cooperation with the United Nations' cultural watchdog following the classification of Rachel's Tomb as a mosque.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel would not cooperate with UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - in administering five protected sites in Palestinian territory as a dispute that has escalated in recent weeks came to a head.

Speaking with journalists in Jerusalem, Ayalon blamed the Palestinians for influencing the UN to side against Israel.

"This is another attempt at de-legitimization by the Palestinian Authority," he said.  


Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron in Beijing

A pilot looks out from an aircraft carrying British Prime Minister David Cameron as it arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, center, walks past honor guards upon arriving at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing, November 9, 2010. Cameron said he was aiming to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron drinks tea with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) speaks with entrepreneurs at a converted temple during a trade mission in Beijing November 9, 2010. Cameron said he wanted to double bilateral trade with China to more than $100 billion (62 billion pounds) a year by 2015 as he visited Beijing on Tuesday at the head of a major trade mission. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Darren Staples )

David Cameron : Building British Cooperation With China

British Prime Minister David Cameron steps down from an aircraft upon arriving at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Andy Wong)


November 09, 2010 (WSJ) -- This week I am leading one of the biggest and most high-powered British delegations ever to visit China. We aim to deliver more than 40 specific agreements across the whole range of our bilateral relationship, from trade to low-carbon growth, to cultural and education initiatives. All of it, seeking to take Britain's relationship with China to a new level and to achieve strong co-operation on our shared economic and political interests.
China's achievements in recent years are remarkable. With growth averaging nearly 10% a year for more than three decades, China today is the world's second-largest economy. Over the past five years it accounted for a third of the world's economic growth. And this economic power gives it new political influence. China today has lifted more people out of poverty than any other country at any time in human history. With the largest population in the world, and with growing economic and political influence, a strong relationship with China is plainly in Britain's national interests.

But the relationship is not one way. Britain has much to offer China too. The U.K. is the most open economy in Europe and uniquely placed as the gateway to the European Union, China's largest export market and the world's largest single market. Britain is home to more than 400 mainland Chinese companies and is already ranked first in Europe for ease of doing business. And we are determined to make Britain the best country in the world in which to do business. That is why we are cutting our corporate income tax to 24%, the lowest in the G-7; creating the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G-20; cutting the time it takes to set up a new business and reducing red tape and excessive regulation.

No other country can offer the same unique advantages, whether our timezone, our language, or our universities—which include six of the best in Europe and two of the top three globally. In fact the U.K. is now China's top European partner for joint research, which has more than quadrupled in a decade.

There is a strong strategic fit between our economies. China is a key export market for Britain. And as China rebalances its economy and its growing middle class demand new and ever more high value goods, brands and services, so U.K. companies have much to offer.

Indeed, the U.K. Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai—which won the Gold Award for the best Pavilion design—was a showcase for so many of Britain's strengths, from advanced engineering to education, from low carbon to financial services to the creative industries. In all these areas and many more, British companies and British exports can help China deliver the prosperity and progress it seeks and at the same time help Britain to secure strong and sustainable growth.

On this visit alone, Britain is set to sign new contracts worth billions of dollars involving companies across the U.K. and cities all over China. It is the breadth of sectors and the range of companies involved that is most promising of all. Many small and medium-size enterprises from Britain will be expanding into China in areas such as low-carbon growth, urban design and information and communication technology.

This is in addition to at least $5 billion worth of business that British companies have secured as part of the Airbus contract concluded with China last week and a further $3 billion of investments by Tesco to develop new shopping malls over the next five years.

And with nearly 50 of Britain's most influential culture, education and business leaders joining me on this visit, I hope these deals can be just the beginning of a new era of bilateral trade between our countries.

We are working to agree a new target to double the value of our bilateral trade with China by 2015 to more than $100 billion a year. And within this we intend to raise U.K. exports to China to $30 billion per year over the same period.

But economic cooperation goes beyond bilateral trade. Both Britain and China have a huge stake in expanding global trade. U.K. Business Minister Vince Cable was here for trade talks yesterday, and Finance Minister George Osborne will today seek to further the cooperation between our two countries through the economic and financial dialogue. On the eve of the G-20 we will be working together to do everything possible to drive progress on a Doha trade round that has frankly gone on for far too long. Next year has to see the deal done, and that means action now. And we will be working in the G-20 to ensure international economic stability so that the global economy can grow strongly again without the economic and financial imbalances that led to the crisis.

But economic cooperation is only part of the story. Our countries have a very important political relationship, which we wish to nurture in the years ahead. As China's star rises in the world, so does its stake in global stability—in the political stability necessary to keep trade routes open and energy supplies flowing. That is an interest we share. I will be meeting China's current and future leaders, because Britain and China have long-term shared interests stretching across climate change and energy, international development and global security.

We will announce new agreements to develop co-operation on international energy supply and a new U.K.-China partnership scheme to promote low-carbon growth. We will aim to enhance cooperation in Africa and enhance China's peacekeeping capacity.

We will discuss our shared interests in international security. We want to work with China to help in global efforts to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to put pressure on corrupt and intolerant regimes in Africa. We hope we can work closely together to prevent conflagration in North Korea and to improve the situation for the Burmese people.

Our relationship should be strong enough to address not only those issues on which we agree, but those on which we take a different view. We should do so with respect and mutual understanding, acknowledging our different histories. This visit offers an opportunity to discuss some of the areas where we have differences and how we might narrow them, for example through our continuing human-rights dialogue.

So I hope this visit can be a further step forward in U.K.-China relations, adding momentum to our commercial relationship and cementing an economic and political partnership that can help to deliver strong and sustainable growth and greater security for us all in the years ahead.

Mr. Cameron is prime minister of the U.K.

British Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Martin Hatfull : Integration, the key to religious tolerance

British Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Martin Hatfull

08 November 2010
Opinion article by Ambassador Martin Hatfull about Islam in the UK and religious tolerance. The article is published by the Republika daily on 8 November 2010, page 4.

(KATAKAMI / BRITISH EMBASSY IN INDONESIA) --- Recently I was invited to speak to the students of the University of Indonesia, and by, video conference, to a number of other universities around Indonesia. The topic was "Islam in the UK".

This is topical issue as the newspapers here are preoccupied with religious diversity issues at home. In thinking about how to manage diversity issues, there is a lot we can learn from each other. Some Indonesian perceptions of the UK are coloured by a misconception of our approach to different communities within the UK and about our wider approach to foreign policy. So I was keen to talk about and share some of our experiences in the UK and our approach to integration.

Today there are about 2 million Muslims living in the UK; about 3% of our overall population. They come from a variety of different ethnic and religious backgrounds—Asian, Middle Eastern, African and newer British converts, all with their different cultural and religious traditions. It’s impossible to speak of one British Islamic community. The first Muslims arrived in Britain in the 17th century, but significant immigration from largely Muslim countries began in the 1950s.

That means that today over half of the Britain’s Muslims were born in the UK. For many of these 3rd generation Muslims, English is their first language. Nowadays Muslims of whatever denomination, of whatever background are thoroughly integrated into British society at all levels: professional, commercial, educational, in the private and the public sector. Your doctor may be a Muslim; the bus driver may be a Muslim. So might your lawyer, your child’s teacher, your local shopkeeper, the owner of the supermarket. One in ten businesses is owned by British Asians, who are mostly Muslims.

We have several thousand Muslim millionaires and more Muslim Parliamentarians than any other Parliament in Europe. We also now have a female Muslim in the Cabinet—Baroness Warsi—who was profiled in the Indonesian media recently. I have a growing number of Muslim colleagues, including here in Jakarta. And there are many Muslim NGOs who provide substantial assistance e.g. Islamic Relief in Aceh, and both Muslim and non-Muslim NGOs working together to help with the floods in Pakistan. Muslims in Britain are an integral part of society, where religion is seen as a private matter and individuals are accepted for who they are.

I remember the astonishment of one Indonesian visitor to the UK, who was stopped in Oxford St and asked for directions. In recounting this to me afterwards, she gestured to her jilbab: “Do I look British?” The answer is: “you don’t look un-British”.

A key element in this approach to integration is the law. Like any other religion, the religious identity of Muslims in the UK is protected by law. The UK’s constitution includes freedom of thought, expression, religion, worship—these freedoms are guaranteed by law for members of every community. There are over 600 mosques and over 100 Islamic schools in the UK, all protected by law. Most UK Muslims feel a strong sense of being both British and Muslim: opinion pools in 2009 suggest that over 90% of Bangladeshi and Pakistani respondents felt that they belonged strongly to the UK.

Of course no society is perfect. People do not always get along with their neighbours; many of us in every society are resistant to change. And crime committed by a few misguided individuals can change the way a community is regarded.

But as a Government we focus on the guiding principle of integration, and this forms an important part of the Government’s agenda. Theresa May, our Home Secretary, recently said “We believe in people throughout our country, from all communities, coming together, working together, supporting and trusting each other”.

Part of our work towards integration, she went on, is challenging extremists “who oppose this and want to drive us apart”. We work hard to overcome these challenges, encourage integration and punish persecution or harassment of religious minorities. We don’t always get it right, but we do so enough to give minorities the confidence to know that they are protected under the law.

Finally the UK has been immensely enriched through the work of our Muslim community. Muslims have given to British society in a large variety of fields: professional, artistic, in the public service, and in commerce. And the community continues to help us evolve—a practical example is Islamic Banking which is now a thriving market sector with major banks in the UK (e.g. HSBC). Individuals are valued for who they are, and Muslims are playing a large part in making Britain what visitors find when they travel there: a vibrant, modern, secular democracy.


Photostream : Finland's President Tarja Halonen meets Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Finland's President Tarja Halonen inspects the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at Moscow's Vnukovo airport November 8, 2010. Tarja Halonen visits Russia for talks with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin )

Finland's President Tarja Halonen puts her gloves on upon her arrival at Moscow's Vnukovo airport November 8, 2010. Halonen visits Russia for talks with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Alexander Natruskin )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) talks with his Finland's counterpart Tarja Halonen at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow November 8, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R), his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen (C) and her spouse Pentti Arajarvi meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow November 8, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (2nd R) and his wife Svetlana (R) welcome Finland's President Tarja Halonen (2nd L) and her spouse Pentti Arajarvi at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow November 8, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin )

Dmitry Medvedev, Tarja Halonen have informal meeting

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (2nd R) and his wife Svetlana (R) welcome Finland's President Tarja Halonen (2nd L) and her spouse Pentti Arajarvi at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow November 8, 2010.

MOSCOW, November 8 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Finnish President Tarja Halonen had an informal meeting in Moscow on Monday, November 8.

Halonen has arrived in Russia on a state visit.,

“The schedule of Tarja Halonen’s state visit began with an informal meeting with Dmitry Medvedev,” the presidential press service said. “The leaders exchanged greetings and conversed briefly, after which the head of the Russian state invited his Finnish colleague to an informal supper.”

“The wife of the Russian president, Svetlana Medvedev, and the husband of the Finnish head of state, Pentti Arajarvi, participated in the conversation along with the presidents,” the press service said.

On Tuesday, the presidents will continue negotiations in an official setting. They will meet in a narrow circle first and will be joined by members of their delegations later on.

Medvedev and Halonen will speak about the results of the talks at a joint press conference.  (*)