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Suharto

Longtime dictator of Indonesia.
SUHARTO: We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action.
FORD: We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.
KISSINGER: You appreciate that the use of U.S.-made arms could create problems.
FORD: We could have technical and legal problems. You are familiar, Mr. President, with the problems we had on Cyprus, although this situation is different.
KISSINGER: It depends on how we construe it -- whether it is in self-defense or is a foreign operation. It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly. We would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens happens after we return. This way there would be less chance of people talking in an unauthorized way. The President will be back on Monday at 2:00 PM Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly, but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned.
FORD: It would be more authoritative if we can do it in person.
KISSINGER: Whatever you do, however, we will try to handle in the best way possible.
FORD: We recognize that you have a time factor. We have merely expressed our view from our particular point of view.
KISSINGER: If you have made plans, we will do our best to keep everyone quiet until the President returns home.

Timeline

8 Jun 1921 Suharto born.
1968 Suharto becomes president.
5 Jul 1975 President Gerald Ford meets with Suharto at Camp David.
6 Dec 1975 During a state visit to Indonesia, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reassure dictator Suharto that his impending invasion of East Timor will not be opposed by the United States.
21 May 1998 Suharto forced to step down.
8 Jun 2001 In apparent celebration of Suharto's 80th birthday, the Attorney General of Indonesia places him at the top of that country's Most Wanted list. Until this point, the world was unaware that Indonesia even had such a list.


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