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Jakarta Post

Prabowo’s past US travel ban haunts Indonesia arms procurement 

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Mon, March 2, 2020   /  08:55 pm
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All ready: Technicians carry out maintenance activities on several Sukhoi aircraft at Iswahjudi Airbase in Magetan, East Java, on March 30. (Antara/Siswo Widodo)

Since being appointed defense minister in October, Prabowo has visited several countries in an effort to modernize the Indonesian Military and strengthen defense diplomacy in general. His latest destination was the United Arab Emirates, where he signed a defense cooperation agreement with his counterpart Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi on Feb. 24. The visits to various countries, including China, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Germany and France, were meant to fulfill the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) provision by scouting for and procuring weapons systems from those countries. However, there is one notable omission from Prabowo’s world tour: the United States, despite its historical role as the country’s biggest supplier of military hardware. Prabowo, a retired three-star army general, has been barred from visiting the US because of alleged human rights abuses. This lead...