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Indonesia seeks answer to why US blocked military chief’s travel

JAKARTA : Indonesia on Monday said it was still awaiting a detailed explanation why the United States barred its military chief from traveling to the US, despite having a visa and an official invitation, although it had accepted an official apology.
Armed forces commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was stopped from boarding an Emirates flight to the US, where he had been invited to attend a conference by the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General Joseph F Dunford Jr.
“We conveyed that we still await clarification, an explanation why this happened,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters after meeting the deputy US ambassador in Jakarta on Monday. “There is a sense of urgency to this that we have conveyed to them,” she said, adding that US officials were “trying to coordinate with relevant authorities in the US to find out what really happened.” The US embassy in Jakarta was not immediately available for comment.
On Sunday, Indonesian military spokesperson Wuryanto said the airline had told Nurmantyo the US Customs and Border Protection agency would not allow him to enter US territory.
Some Indonesians reacted indignantly to the incident, putting up banners around the capital calling for the US ambassador to be expelled and for Americans to be “sent home”.
Former Indonesian ambassador to the United States Dino Patti Djalal called for a stronger government reaction. “The government should not be asking for a clarification, but rather conveying a protest to the US side,” he said on social network Twitter.

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