Indon military chief denied entry to US

Statement from the U.S. Embassy | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia - US Embassy Jakarta

Indonesian Military Chief Denied Entry to US Despite Invitation

The general, who was heading to a defense conference on countering violent extremism at the invitation of US Chairman of Staff General Joseph Dunford, made a decision to postpone his visit until Washington clarifies the matter. "We have told them that we still demand a clarification and explanation on why the incident happened, we told them we are still waiting", she said.

The American diplomatic mission in Indonesia said it is prepared to facilitate Gatot's travel in the future and insisted the U.S. remains committed to its strategic partnership with the country.

"We conveyed that we still await clarification, an explanation why this happened", Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters after meeting the United States envoy.

Marsudi said she had been assured that whatever the issue was, it had been resolved and the Indonesian military chief was now free to travel to the U.S.

However, shortly before departure, there was a notice from the airline that Nurmantyo and his wife had been refused entry by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis apologized for the incident to his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in the Philippines, and the two were photographed shaking hands.

"We deeply regret the inconvenience that this incident caused and we apologise", McKee told reporters.

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Some Indonesians reacted indignantly to the incident, putting up banners around the capital calling for the USA ambassador to be expelled and for Americans to be "sent home".

Nurmantyo will not attend the conference unless this clarification is received, the military said.

Relations between the United States and Indonesia are generally friendly.

"The government should not be asking for a clarification, but rather conveying a protest to the USA side", he said on social network Twitter.

"There are absolutely no issues with his ability to travel to the United States".

Nurmantyo is a controversial figure in Indonesia because his actions and words frequently suggest he has political ambitions.

A US State Department spokesman didn't elaborate on the embassy statement or the apology. But ties have sometimes been strained over American resource companies operating in Indonesia or alleged rights abuses involving Indonesia's military. He has also held a longstanding belief that Indonesia faces "proxy wars", where foreign states seek to undermine his country by manipulating non-state actors.

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