Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto met with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Pentagon, Virginia, the US, on Thursday to discuss ways to harmonize future cooperation between the two countries.
“In harmony with the strategic goal of advancing Indo-Pacific, which is more connected, prosperous, peaceful, tough, free, and open, I believe that to achieve this goal we will need cooperation and participation of Indo-Pacific countries,” Prabowo said in a press statement here on Friday.
Both Indonesia and the US wish for a free and open Indo-Pacific, a biogeographic region of the Earth’s seas, which comprises the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two in the general area of Indonesia.
Prabowo lauded the US’ intention to support a self-reliant and strong ASEAN and expressed gratitude for the meeting.
“We hope the defense cooperation between the two nations will increasingly become stronger and the friendship between the two nations will continue and develop in the spirit of mutual respect and confidence for each other’s national interests,” he said.
During the meeting, Austin praised Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN, the Indo-Pacific, and the world.
Both Prabowo and Austin underscored the significance of sustainable cooperation amid the increasingly complex regional security dynamics.
To that end, the US vowed to assist Indonesia in modernizing its military as well as strengthen interoperability between the US and Indonesia.
Austin also expressed support for Prabowo’s intention to boost the professionalism of the Indonesian military.
In the past two years, Indonesia has sent cadets on scholarship to three US military academies: the US Military Academy (USMA), West Point; the US Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis; and the US Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado.
In addition, the two countries discussed the significant progress made in the US-Indonesia defense cooperation, including the expansion of the”Super” Garuda Shield this summer, the largest exercise that the two countries have ever conducted.
Source: Antara News