Hagel concludes Indonesian visit

Hagel concludes Indonesian visit

Chuck Hagel (left) with Purnomo Yusgiantoro. (ANTARA/Andika Wahyu)

In order to build up our defense we will prepare an Apache squadron as combat helicopters."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has concluded his Indonesian visit on August 26-27 after having meetings with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, according to the US Embassy here on Tuesday.

The embassy said on its official web site that during the meetings discussions focused on Indonesia`s flourishing democracy, the security partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia, and global and regional security issues.

During his visit to the Ministry of Defense, Secretary Hagel also had an opportunity to engage with Indonesian troops and participate in a joint press conference.

According to Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the Indonesian defense ministry will form a squadron of Apache AH-64 helicopters to be purchased from the United States.

The ministry made the plan after the US government agrees to sell the high technology helicopters to Indonesia.

"In order to build up our defense we will prepare an Apache squadron as combat helicopters," Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said after a meeting with his US counterpart Chuck Hagel, on Monday.

Purnomo said he appreciated the US government commitment to defense cooperation with Indonesia as shown in the procurement of the combat helicopters.

He said the visit here of the US Defense Secretary showed the closeness of relations between the two countries in the defense sector.

He described his meeting with Hagel as important in maintaining and expanding communications to create regional stability.

Purnomo appreciated the support given by the US government in the Shangri-La Dialogue last June. He gave no details.

Secretary Hagel`s visit in Indonesia was his second lag of his tour of four Asian countries.

Secretary Hagel traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Aug. 24-26 followed by Jakarta, Indonesia the afternoon of Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.

From Jakarta, Secretary Hagel traveled to Brunei Aug. 27-29 to meet with defense counterparts from across the Asia-Pacific region.

On Aug. 28 in Brunei, Secretary Hagel will meet with ASEAN Defense Ministers at their annual retreat. On Aug. 29, Secretary Hagel will participate in the ADMM-Plus meeting.

Secretary Hagel will conclude his trip in Manila on Aug. 29-30 and return to Washington.