RI Minister of Defense receives acting US Defense Secretary

MoD Prabowo Subianto receives official visit from US acting defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, in Jakarta (07/12/2020). (Photo: KEMENHAN RI)

IO – Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto received a courtesy call from US acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller, greeting him with a military guard of honour at the Indonesian Ministry of Defense office in Jakarta on Monday (07/12/2020). 

A closed bilateral discussion followed, centered on efforts to increase defense cooperation and on the sale of weaponry systems to Indonesia. Ministry of Defense Spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak said. 

The Minister of Defense stated through an official press statement that the strategic relations between the two nations is excellent. The Indonesian Government seeks to cooperate with the US in defense industry training and education by sending cadets to study in the US Military Academy. “Therefore, we hope to be able to preserve and expand our relations, and to consistently respect each other’s national interests. We emphasize Indonesia’s desire to procure updated weaponry systems produced by the United States through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program”. 

The US acting defense secretary stated that relations between Indonesia and the United States are strong and deep-rooted. In the recent 18th Indonesia-US Security Dialog (“IUSSD”), the defense cooperation of the two countries have progressed in line with realigned cooperation priorities, in Indonesia’s case on how to improve its defense capabilities through cooperation in weaponry systems, and how to upgrade the professionalism of its defense personnel through education and training. 

However, Minister Prabowo did not reveal exactly what type of weaponry he is looking to buy from the United States, merely emphasizing that he plans to send our cadets to study at the US Military Academy. “Acting Secretary Miller states that Indonesia is the first country he is visiting in his series of working calls to Indo-Pacific countries as acting secretary of defense. This is because of good relations between the two countries, the great potential of cooperation and partnership in the future, the importance of Indonesia with its geographic position in the region, and his strong relations with Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto,” as said in the Indonesian ministry of defense press statement. 

Prior to the meeting in Jakarta, Miller and Prabowo communicated by phone on 20 November 2020 to discuss their desire to strengthen Indonesia-US defense cooperation, including initial talks of procuring US defense equipment that can modernize Indonesia’s defense efforts. Minister Prabowo visited Washington in mid-October to discuss this issue. He met US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, whom President Trump dismissed in November due to differences in policy. (Dan)