US, Indonesia Discuss Territorial Dispute in South China Sea
US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin spoke with Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto on the phone to reaffirm the importance of the bilateral defense ties, said an official in a statement on Wednesday, March 31.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby in the statement added that Austin and Prabowo touched on the regional security issues, including the situation in the South China Sea.
Austin emphasized the importance of further developing defense relations between the two countries. He also highlighted the capstone Army-to-Army exercise, Garuda Shield, scheduled to take place in August as an opportunity to build greater interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries.
“I had a great introductory conversation this morning with Indonesian Defense Minister @Prabowo, in which we discussed maritime security in the region and opportunities to improve our bilateral defense cooperation,” said Austin in his Twitter account.
According to Kirby, Prabowo congratulated Austin on his appointment as defense minister. Meanwhile, Austin expressed his condolences for the recent terrorist attacks in Makassar and Jakarta.