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Indonesia Invites Saudi Arabia to Develop Its Defense Industry

JAKARTA: Indonesia has invited Saudi Arabia to help develop its defense industry, the Southeast Asian nation’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday, as it hopes to forge strategic security ties with the Kingdom.

Indonesian-Saudi security ties were formally established in 2014 when the two countries signed a defense cooperation agreement.

They received a boost on Tuesday when Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman visited Jakarta for talks with his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto.

“The Ministry of Defense is hoping to strengthen strategic defense relations with Saudi Arabia, with mutual support to push for world peace, especially in the region,” Subianto’s spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak told Arab News.

“Saudi Arabia can join in developing Indonesia’s defense industry through a strategic partnership.”

Prince Khalid’s visit was a reciprocation of Subianto’s trip to Riyadh in March last year.

The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it was also a “historic moment” and that Subianto had “expressed his confidence that Saudi Arabia will actualize its Vision 2030 and hoped that Indonesia’s defense industry can be part of that vision.”

Several Indonesian companies, including state-owned arms maker Pindad and aerospace firm Dirgantara, presented their portfolios to members of the Saudi delegation accompanying Prince Khalid.

The defense chiefs of both countries have also agreed to more student exchanges between their military schools to strengthen cooperation in defense education.