October 23, 2020, 10.47 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit Indonesia next week. The stopover will be the last leg of a series of visits to South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region October 25-30.

“Secretary [Pompeo] will travel to Jakarta to deliver public remarks and meet with his Indonesian counterparts to affirm the two countries’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the State Department said in its website on October 21, 2020.

Prior to his visit to Indonesia, Pompeo will travel to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to touch on bilateral relations, regional maritime security and counterterrorism.

Also read: Indonesia, US Defense Chiefs Meet in Pentagon

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi confirmed Pompeo’s visit next week.

“Aside from carrying out bilateral talks with me, Secretary of State Pompeo will attend a dialogue on religion and civilization hosted by the [Islamic] Anshor Youth Movement,” she said on October 22.

“The US is one of Indonesia’s most important partners. That is why Indonesia wishes to build a firm partnership based on mutual benefit and respect.”

Also read: US State Department Okays Sale of 8 MV-22 Osprey Aircraft to Indonesia

She added that this is reflected by the visits of top officials, even during the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes a visit by a delegation from the US International Development Finance Corporation to Jakarta this week.

Parahyangan Center for International Studies analyst Sukawarsini Djelantik believed that Pompeo's visit is part of Washington's efforts to drum up support in the region against China's aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

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