During a press conference with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stressed that Indonesia was ready to supply Laos with airplanes and weapons produced by two state-owned enterprises.
“The Indonesian strategic industry is ready to supply high-quality products, such as airplanes and defense equipment, needed by Laos,” Jokowi said during the joint press conference at the Bogor Palace in West Java on Thursday.
On the same day, Jokowi and Sisoulith had held a meeting to discuss efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two ASEAN member countries and witnessed the signing of three memorandums of understanding between the two countries on education and drug control.
Indonesia’s state-owned weapons maker PT Pindad (Persero) produces various munitions, guns, tanks and armored vehicles, while state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) produces helicopters and aircraft both for military and commercial purposes. There was no immediate response from Prime Minister Sisoulth to Jokowi’s offer.
Jokowi welcomes Laos PM at Bogor Palace
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo welcomed Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java on Thursday.
After the welcoming ceremony, Jokowi held a bilateral meeting with his guest, who was making his first official visit to Indonesia.
“This year, Indonesia and Laos celebrate the 60th anniversary of our bilateral relationship and I appreciate the activities we have held together under the principle of mutual respect,” Jokowi said during the meeting.
The President said Indonesia and Laos discussed regional issues in ASEAN including the support of both countries to solving the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state in Myanmar.
The ministers that accompanied Jokowi in the meeting included Economic Coordinating Minister Darmin Nasution, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, Culture and National Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy, Technology, Research and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir, State Secretary Pratikno and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung
In previous reports, Sisoulith was said to have bought weapons from Indonesia. During the 2017 Trade and Tourism Fair in Vientiane held by the Indonesian Embassy to mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between the countries, state-owned weapons maker PT Pindad made an offer to the Laos Defense Ministry. A number of memorandum of understandings (MOUs) are expected to be signed during Siloulith’s visit to Indonesian. (bbn, Anton Hermansyah, The Jakarta Post)