Joint Statement Regarding Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Meeting With Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto

WASHINGTON DC- Today, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper met with Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto at the Pentagon to discuss regional security, bilateral defense priorities, and defense acquisitions.

Secretary Esper communicated the importance of upholding human rights, the rule of law, and professionalization as the two countries expand their engagement.  Minister Subianto expressed the importance of military engagement at all levels, and communicated his appreciation for the United States' support for Indonesia’s defense modernization. Both leaders shared their desire to enhance bilateral military-to-military activities and work together on maritime security.

Secretary Esper and Minister Prabowo signed a Memorandum of Intent to advance the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency’s efforts to re-start its work in Indonesia to recover the remains of U.S. personnel lost in Indonesia during World War II.  Both leaders expressed sympathies to those affected by COVID-19 in the United States and Indonesia.

As we know, beside ASEAN, Indonesia’s defensive relationship with major powers will also be closely watched under the new minister. During the ASEAN Summit in 2019, Prabowo Subianto met the US Secretary of Defence during a bilateral meeting to discuss further partnership. The discussion tied around US prioritizing the Indo-pacific, where Indonesia has an important role, the conduct of joint military training, and sending Indonesian cadets to study in US military academy.13 The US Secretary of Defence also wished to visit Indonesia soon to continue the cooperation.