RI, US discuss F-16 grant

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Monday.

The two discussed among others the mechanism for a US grant of F-16 fighters, presidential special aide for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah said after accompanying President Yudhoyono in the meeting.

"They also touched on the US plan to grant F-16 fighters of various variations," Faizasyah said.

He said in the meeting the US government as well as the US Congress expressed their commitment to assuring the implementation of the cooperation.

He said through the visit the US also expressed its commitment to Southeast Asia, to realize US President Barack Obama`s planned visit (to Indonesia) and also to East Asia.

Indonesian Ambassador to the US Dino Patti Djalal also made a similar statement earlier saying "we have discussed the possibility for Indonesia to receive F-16s," he said.

Dino however said that details about the cooperation had not yet been completely discussed.

"Details about the price and technicalities still have to be discussed further," he said.

Dino said President Yudhoyono and Panetta in the meeting that lasted for 45 minutes generally discussed the US commitment to supporting regional architecture which was welcomed by President Yudhoyono.

He said President Yudhoyono and Panetta also discussed the situations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Leon Panetta came to Bali to attend a meeting between ASEAN defense ministers and their dialogue partners.(*)

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