Trump calls Jokowi, offers US aid for earthquake victims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US President Donald Trump contacted Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to express his condolences and offer assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi province.

"Trump appreciated the leadership of the Indonesian government in responding to the crisis," a written statement from the United States Embassy in Jakarta received by ANTARA here Wednesday.

The US government is offering assistance and is ready to work with the Indonesian government to identify additional assistance from the US as the best support effort.

Previously, the Indonesian government had refused the US assistance, in the form of army troops and hospital ships, during the emergency response period in Palu and Donggala as it had sufficient resources.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla explained that the Indonesian government prioritized assistance from other countries that could be used for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Meanwhile, the number of Indonesian troops and the amount of logistics for the emergency response period were available.

"Every aid from foreign countries should be directly used. Therefore, we focus more on foreign aid for rehabilitation and reconstruction similar to the time when we handled the earthquake and tsunami in Aceh," Kalla stated.

He explained that assistance from foreign countries to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Aceh in 2004 was used for rehabilitations and reconstruction of houses.

Every foreign aid for people in Palu will also be used for similar purposes.

Source: ANTARA News

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