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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary Mattis' Meeting With Indonesian Minister of Defense

Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis met today with Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu in Jakarta, their third meeting since Mattis was sworn in a year ago.  The two leaders discussed the security situation in the region, to include North Korea, the South China Sea and North Natuna Sea, ISIS, and the Rohingya refugee crisis.  

Mattis noted the importance of the US-Indonesia partnership, recognizing that the two are like-minded partners with diverse populations who share a commitment to democracy, peace, and prosperity.

He noted that Indonesia is the "maritime fulcrum" between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and that the US would continue to strengthen its strong military-to-military relationship with Indonesia in the future.  Mattis thanked Indonesia for its efforts to implement international sanctions against North Korea, emphasizing that the issue was still in the diplomatic realm to resolve.  

He applauded Indonesia's efforts to work with its neighbors, especially Malaysia and the Philippines, to cooperate on counter-terrorism efforts, and pledged to provide additional assistance as requested with maritime domain awareness, while rebuilding education and training with Indonesian military units that play a critical role in preventing ISIS and other terrorist organizations from establishing a foothold in the Sulu Sea area.  

On the Rohingya situation, Mattis expressed that the US is fully engaged in diplomatic efforts to end this tragedy, and that beyond humanitarian aid the focus must be on stopping the actions that are causing people to become refugees.  

The two also discussed the recently released National Defense Strategy, which underscores the U.S. Department of Defense's commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, to our partnerships, and to the sovereignty and respect due all nations.