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Kalla welcomes Pence for meeting 

  • Liza Yosephine
    Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, April 20, 2017 | 01:32 pm
Kalla welcomes Pence for meetingĀ  US Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Trane Parts and Distribution Center on March 11 in Louisville, Kentucky, US. (AP/Timothy D. Easley)

Vice President Jusuf Kalla welcomed his United States counterpart Mike Pence at the Vice Presidential Palace on Thursday for a meeting. 

Arriving at about noon local time, Kalla greeted Pence, who had earlier made a courtesy call on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace. 

Also present at the meeting were several Cabinet heavyweights, including Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution. 

Others present included Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Thomas Lembong. 

Pence's state visit is meant to focus on strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries, according to the US Embassy in Jakarta.

(Read also: Jokowi receives Mike Pence at Presidential Palace)

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry in a statement on Thursday said discussion topics included strengthening economic and investment cooperation, maritime cooperation, counterterrorism, boosting mutual understanding of religious tolerance and the moderate values of Islam and the sustainability of US involvement in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically in Southeast Asia.

Speculation was rife that one of the issues to be discussed was the US move to put Indonesia on a "Trade Hit List" because of a bilateral trade imbalance. Some people thought the negotiations with the US-based coal and Mining company Freeport McMoran would also be on the agenda. 

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