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US in talks with Prabowo as inauguration nears

Jakarta Globe - June 12, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The US has been in talks with President-Elect Prabowo Subianto and his team as inauguration nears, according to an American diplomat.

Prabowo – who amassed 96 million votes in the recent election – will be sworn into office this October. He will replace President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who has served the country for 10 years and has ushered Indonesia-US ties to a level of a comprehensive strategic partnership. According to Michael F Kleine, the Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the US Mission to Indonesia, his country is looking forward to working with the new government.

"The US congratulates Indonesia on having an incredibly successful election in February," Kleine told the press during the US Independence Day celebrations in Jakarta on Tuesday evening.

"We have excellent communications with Mr. Prabowo right now. We are talking to both him and his transition team. We look forward to working with him [Prabowo] and his government as he takes office in October," Kleine said.

Kleine did go into details about what exactly had the US been discussing with Prabowo.

Since being declared a winner, Prabowo has made overseas trips to meet world leaders, including China's Xi Jinping. Ambassadors of friendly nations have also dropped by Prabowo's Jakarta office to congratulate him. Prabowo has yet to meet US President Joe Biden in person since his election victory. However, Biden gave Prabowo a congratulatory phone call in March.

"President Biden pledged to expand cooperation with Indonesia under the US-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework [IPEF] and to work together towards an Indo-Pacific that is free, open, prosperous, and secure," a White House statement on the phone call with Prabowo reads.

The IPEF refers to the Washington-led economic bloc that encompasses the US, Indonesia, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Following the 2019 election, Jokowi picked Prabowo – who was also running for president that year – as his defense minister. Late last year, Indonesia-US signed a defense cooperation arrangement aimed at unlocking new partnership opportunities within the sector. The US also has what it calls the Super Garuda Shield program, which it claims to be its largest military exercise with Indonesia.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/us-in-talks-with-prabowo-as-inauguration-nears