"No, we (the government) did not accept it. They (the US) want to send a hospital ship, but we already have it. Based on our past experience in Aceh, only five patients had boarded (the Indonesian government-owned) hospital ship," he stated at the Vice Presidential Office here on Tuesday.
The government has given priority to foreign aid for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas, while it has adequate military personnel and logistics during the emergency response period, he explained.
"We must consider how (foreign assistance) could be used directly. Therefore, we are focusing on foreign aid for rehabilitation and reconstruction purposes as we did in Aceh in the past," he added.
In the rehabilitation and reconstruction of earthquake-and tsunami-devastated areas in Aceh, foreign aid was used to build houses for earthquake and tsunami victims, he remarked.
The government will use foreign aid for victims of a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi, as it did in Aceh, he elaborated.
During a press conference in Rose Garden at the White House, US President Donald Trump offered condolences to the people and government of Indonesia over the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Palu, Central Sulawesi.
Trump remarked that he had dispatched quick reaction troops to help Indonesia deal with what he termed the worst natural disaster, The Washington Post quoted him as saying.
Reporting by Fransiska Ninditya
Editing by Suharto