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Panetta to Meet With Indonesian Officials

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

BALI, Indonesia, Oct. 22, 2011 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has a full schedule of events planned for the first day of a weeklong Asian visit that also will take him to Japan and South Korea.

Panetta is scheduled to meet with his Indonesian counterpart, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, early this afternoon -- which is Oct. 23 here. 

Later in the day, the secretary will speak at a media roundtable with local and delegation press members before attending a meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Panetta, at Yusgiantoro's invitation, will address the gathered ASEAN ministers in what a senior official traveling with the secretary called “an opportunity to see what issues are on the minds of these ministers … if there are ways we can cooperate better, either as a group or bilaterally with individual countries.”

Speaking on background before the trip to reporters traveling with Panetta, the official said the secretary also will emphasize to the gathered ministers the United States’ commitment to the Southeast Asia region.

The official said ASEAN is focused on creating a broader regional security community among member nations Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“ASEAN is truly central to how the region looks at regional architecture,” the official said.

The gathering of ministers provides an ideal forum for “dealing with transnational problems as well as addressing setting of … international norms of behavior and agreed-upon rules of the road,” the official said.

In the evening, the secretary will attend a dinner hosted by Yusgiantoro.

Panetta is scheduled to meet the next day with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before traveling on to Japan.


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Leon E. Panetta

Related Sites:
Special Report: Travels With Panetta


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