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Jakarta Post

'It's defense diplomacy': Jokowi defends Prabowo‘s frequent overseas trips

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /  Thu, January 23, 2020   /   07:33 pm
'It's defense diplomacy': Jokowi defends Prabowo‘s frequent overseas tripsPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. (TJP/Seto Wardhana)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has defended Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto against scathing criticism of the minister’s frequent overseas trips.

During the Defense Ministry’s leaders meeting on Wednesday, Jokowi said that Prabowo’s diplomatic forays to a number of foreign countries recently were forms of diplomacy in relation to bolstering Indonesia’s defense sector.

“Should there be any question regarding the purpose of the minister’s overseas trips, the answer is for no other purpose than to bolster our diplomacy in the defense sphere,” Jokowi said on Thursday 

The President noted that Prabowo had also been inspecting alutsista10分快三开户 (primary weapons defense systems) the government intended to purchase from other countries.

He said that during the visits, Prabowo — who was Jokowi’s erstwhile rival in last year’s presidential election — had checked whether the weaponry systems were any good or appropriate for Indonesia’s needs. 

 “He’s been checking every little detail,” Jokowi said, “the people who question [the purpose of Prabowo’s overseas trips] are those who have yet to understand the concept of defense diplomacy.”

10分快三开户Prabowo has visited seven countries in his official capacity since he was inaugurated as the country’s defense minister in October, the first being China late last year.

10分快三开户The minister’s overseas trips have drawn skepticism and outright criticism from a number of parties, including the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), which supported Prabowo’s presidential candidacy in both the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Read also: Prabowo plays down report suggesting Jakarta wants to buy Rafale jets from France

10分快三开户PKS general commissioner Mardani Ali Sera brought up Jokowi’s comment that diplomatic relations could be strengthened simply through mobile phones.

“Jokowi remarked on Aug. 16 of last year that his administration would minimize the frequency of overseas trips. He even pointed out that such visits could be substituted with phone conversations in this interconnected world,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.

10分快三开户He went on to say that such visits must be planned with concrete goals in mind.

“Overseas trips are fine, but please make sure that their return-on-investment is better. Everything has to be disclosed to the public,” Mardani said.

10分快三开户Prabowo has previously responded to such criticism by saying that overseas trips are required for weapons inspections.

“We do need to shop around, taking every factor into consideration. We have to study the available weaponry,” Prabowo said on Monday. (rfa)

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