BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – Indonesia rejected a proposal by the United States to allow the latter’s P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to land and refuel there, according to four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter.
The officials said that the U.S. authorities made multiple “high-level” contacts in July and August with the Indonesian defense and foreign ministers, before Indonesian President Joko Widodo refused the request.
Representatives of the Indonesian President, the Defense Minister, the U.S. State Department press office, and the U.S. embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment, as reported by Sputnik
The officials said the proposal surprised the Indonesian government because the country has long been neutral in foreign policy.
Indonesia has never allowed foreign armies to operate there.