The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo was not allowed to board a flight bound to the United States last weekend due to an “administrative error” that was “quickly corrected,” according the US Embassy in Jakarta.
In a statement published on its website on Wednesday, the embassy stopped short of saying that Gatot had been denied entry to the US, stating only that he and his wife were “delayed in their ability to board their flight.”
“We have taken appropriate measures to prevent this matter from occurring again. There is no restriction on the general’s or his wife’s travel, and we welcome them to the United States,” the statement read.
The embassy said it regretted the inconvenience caused by the incident, adding that the US government “is dedicated to ensuring that all persons traveling to the United States are screened and properly vetted to maintain our responsibility to US national security.”
Gatot and his wife were invited by US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to attend a conference in Washington.
However, he was told by an Emirates official at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday afternoon that he would be unable to depart.
The US Department of Homeland Security previously said that Gatot chose not to travel after being cleared and rebooked on another flight.
Gatot said he decided to cancel his US trip after failing to board the original flight and reported the incident to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who told him not to go.
The incident triggered outrage among some lawmakers and prompted the Foreign Ministry to file a diplomatic note demanding an explanation from the US government. (ahw)