Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed strong belief in his Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s capability to prudently and efficiently manage the ministry's budget that tended to steadily rise.

"Please utilize this budget carefully," he remarked while addressing high-ranking officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense as well as top military and police brass here on Thursday.

President Jokowi admittedly believes Defense Minister Subianto will prudently utilize the total budget of Rp127 trillion allocated to his ministry in the 2020 State Budget.

The Defense Ministry is one of the several ministries receiving the biggest allocations of the State Budget since 2016, he pointed out, adding that the budget must be utilized in a judicious and effectual manner.

The president drew attention to not wanting to see the mark-up cases while emphasizing that the budget can also be earmarked to support efforts to bolster Indonesia’s weaponry industry.

Furthermore, Jokowi reiterated that those in charge of the defense sector should be able to tackle all challenges that Indonesia may encounter, including internal conflicts, asymmetric warfare, guerrilla wars, as well as proxy and hybrid wars.

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Jokowi also drew attention to the significance of defense diplomacy for Indonesia at present and in future, cautioning of challenges for the defense sector getting tougher owing to the widening spectrum of conflicts in various parts of the world.

“Hence, we must strengthen our defense diplomacy to muffle interstate tensions,” he stated.

Indonesia must be prepared with its weaponry at any time and condition to enforce the laws within its sovereign territories, he noted.

The president explained that if some individuals question Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s overseas trips, then they are related to Indonesia’s endeavor to fortify its defense diplomacy. He noted that the visits were not ordinary trips.

Those raising fingers at the defense minister’s overseas trips might not have an understanding of defense diplomacy, he stated, highlighting the fact that the visits were aimed at checking and observing the primary weaponry defense system (Alutsista) that Indonesia looks forward to procure.

Defense Minister Subianto has embarked on a series of overseas visits since being appointed as one of the cabinet members of the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin administration last year.

On December 16, 2019, Prabowo, had visited Beijing, China, to commence his three-day visit that would facilitate the strengthening of cooperation between both nations in the defense sector.

Before heading to China, Prabowo had visited Turkey to bolster both nations’ cooperation in the defense industry.

At a recent limited meeting on programs and activities in the political, legal, and security fields, President Jokowi had reiterated the need for the government to utilize the budget in the defense sector to drive development of the domestic strategic industry.

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Translator: Agus Salim, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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