"I am grateful for the defense cooperation between the two countries and I hope it will continue to be maintained and stepped up," President Yudhoyono said at the closed-door meeting with Leon Panetta.
At the 45-minute meeting with President Yudhoyono, Panetta also expressed amazement about Bali`s natural attractiveness, its unique culture and people`s friendliness.
After the meeting, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said, Yudhoyono and Panetta discussed ways to step up the two countries cooperation.
Djoko said the new US defense secretary was also eager to maintain cooperation with ASEAN countries, especially Indonesia because the two countries had a long history of bilateral relations in the maritime field and in counter terrorism.
At the meeting with the US defense secretary, President Yudhoyono was accompanied by Djoko Suyanto, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa, Minister/State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, and Indonesian Ambassador to the US, Dino Patti Djalal.
Earlier, on Sunday evening, Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Panetta met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting to discuss cooperation in the military field.
Purnomo said that in the meeting the US government expressed its commitment to providing Indonesia with main armaments.
But he said he did not yet know the type of weapons Indonesia would receive from the US.
Besides that, Purnomo said, the US also supported the plan to establish an ASEAN Security Community which would be created in 2015.
"Indonesia will also develop a maritime security system because two thirds of its areas are sea areas," he said.