Foreign Affairs/US-Indonesia Relations

Indonesia Hails US-Taliban Peace Deal

Washington and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha that had them agree to the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan in return for insurgent guarantees Indonesia hailed the signing of a peace deal between the United States and the Afghan Taliban in Qatar over the weekend, calling it a “first step” forward in the ongoing peace process. (Jakarta Post)

COV 19 Disrupts Chinese Investment Projects

Workers arrange equipment in front of a large tunnel built for a high-speed railway in Tunnel 8, Padalarang, West Bandung regency

The novel coronavirus outbreak will not only disrupt supplies of raw materials for the manufacturing industry in Indonesia but will also cause a delay in important infrastructure projects, which involve many Chinese companies, a senior minister has predicted. Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Panjaitan said in Jakarta on Tuesday that the infrastructure projects that were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak included the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, as many Chinese workers that worked in the projects could not return to Indonesia. “They can’t return to Indonesia and are currently still being held up in their country after the Lunar New Year holiday,” he said during a press briefing in Jakarta. Earlier this month, the government imposed a temporary ban on all flights to and from China following the COVID-19 outbreak in an effort. Jakarta Post

US-ASEAN Summit Cancelled/Bilateral Off

The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 in Las Vegas due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Friday. U.S. President Donald Trump had invited leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet in Las Vegas after he did not attend a summit with the group in Bangkok in November. “As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters. A long-sought White House meeting for President Jokowi scheduled after the summit was also postponed to a later date.