Culture

'Administrative Error' Blocked Indonesian Military Chief's Entry to United States: Embassy

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.

McKee met with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday morning and said she apologized. "We welcome him. The embassy is working very hard to understand what happened", she said.

Gatot and his wife were invited by US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford to attend a conference in Washington.

The U.S. embassy in Jakarta was not immediately available for comment.

Marsudi said Indonesia still expects the U.S.to provide a more complete explanation.

"We regret the inconvenience caused, and have communicated this to the government of Indonesia".

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the government was seeking clarification from the USA government, CNN Indonesia reported.

Erin McKee, the deputy USA ambassador to Indonesia, did not explain why Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo was prevented from boarding a flight to the US but said the matter had been resolved.

However, the military has insisted that Nurmantyo will not attend the conference unless this clarification is received. He promotes the notion that Indonesia is besieged by "proxy wars" involving foreign states and even a renewed communist threat.

General Nurmantyo told reporters on Tuesday that he did not travel on a later flight because he had informed President Joko Widodo of the issue and that he would only travel "on further orders from the president". But ties have sometimes been strained over American resource companies operating in Indonesia or alleged rights abuses involving Indonesia's military.



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