The Associated PressU.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, is seated with Indonesia’s President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Istana, or Indonesian presidential palace, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Ken Thomas)
Vice President Mike Pence is meeting Indonesia’s president and other top officials in Jakarta on Thursday with trade and commercial disputes expected to be on the agenda.
The two-day stop in Muslim-majority Indonesia comes as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo deals with a serious political setback after a political ally was defeated by Islamic conservatives in the election for Jakarta governor.
Indonesia is on President Donald Trump’s trade hit list, and U.S. company Freeport-McMoran Inc., which operates the world’s largest copper mine in the Indonesian province of Papua, is in a protracted dispute with the Indonesian government .
Pence’s first engagement was morning tea at the presidential palace with Jokowi. It will be followed by an official meeting with the Indonesian president and press conference. Pence will also visit Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.
Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, is active in Indonesia with plans to manage luxury resorts being built near the capital Jakarta and on the tourist island of Bali.
Trump’s Indonesian business partner, billionaire Hary Tanoe, is an aspiring politician with ambitions to run for president in 2019.