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Jakarta to demand answers after military chief denied US entry

JAKARTA: Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the US secretary of state and summon Washington’s deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, an Indonesian official said.

Indonesia’s Armed Forces Com­man­der General Gatot Nurmantyo was about to board a flight on Saturday when the airline informed him that US authorities had denied him entry, according to Indonesian media reports.

Nurmantyo was going to the United States at the invitation of General Joseph F. Dunford Jr, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a former head of the US Marine Corps, according to the reports. He was also due to take part in a forum organised by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington today.

Arrmanatha Nasir, a spokesman for Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry said that Nurmantyo had informed the ministry of the entry denial but the spokesman could not confirm details.

The ministry will also summon the US deputy ambassador in Jakarta today to seek an explanation, Nasir said, adding that the ambassador is presently not in Indonesia.

The US embassy in Jakarta did not immediately respond to questions about the incident.

Nurmantyo has frequently courted controversy in Indonesia because of his actions and what analysts perceive as his political ambitions. The general promotes the notion that Indonesia is besieged by ”proxy wars” involving foreign states and even a renewed communist threat. — Reuters/


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