US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Indonesia on August 26 as part of his tour to four Southeast Asian countries.

He held talks with his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro, focusing on issues relating to regional and global security, including the 2013 Counter Terrorism Exercise, which will be co-chaired by Indonesia and the US this year with the participation of troops from the 10 ASEAN member countries and eight dialogue partners.

Indonesia’s purchase of weapons from the US and cooperation programmes on military personnel training were also on table.

In its press release, Indonesia’s Defence Ministry affirmed that the two countries’ defence relations are the strongest point ever, marked by a close cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and benefit.

A day earlier in Malaysia, Hagel held talks with his Malaysian counterpart Hishamuddin Hussein, during which the two sides committed to further strengthening military relations towards more cooperation fields.

During his ten-day tour, the US Defence Secretary will arrive in Brunei on August 27 to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Retreat and the second ADMM Plus. He will conclude his tour of Southeast Asia with a visit to the Philippines on August 29.-VNA