US, Indonesia top officials discuss defense cooperation, maritime security

United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan held a meeting at the Pentagon on June 8 to discuss maritime security challenges and defense cooperation, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

White said Mattis and Pandjaitan exchanged views on the regional maritime security environment in Southeast Asia, discussed cooperation on countering violent extremism from groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and addressed the threat posed by returning foreign fighters.

Secretary Mattis relayed his appreciation for the broad range of U.S.-Indonesian defense cooperation and encouraged Indonesia’s continuing contributions to regional maritime security,” White said.

“They emphasized continued cooperation in maritime domain awareness and information sharing to combat transnational threats,” she added.

The two officials also discussed the importance of supporting Indonesia’s defense modernization efforts through strengthening bilateral training, interoperability, and defense trade, White noted.