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Indonesia’s top general denied US entry despite high-profile invite

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The chief of Indonesia’s military was denied entry to the United States on Saturday, despite having an invitation from US General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dunford had invited General Gatot Nurmantyo to Washington, D.C., to attend a conference Monday and Tuesday on combating violent extremism, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Indonesia.

Nurmantyo and his wife were set to board an Emirates flight in Jakarta for Washington on Saturday evening, reported CNN Indonesia, a CNN affiliate. But shortly before takeoff, the delegation received notice from US Customs and Border Protection that they weren’t permitted entry to the United States.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the government was seeking clarification from the US government, CNN Indonesia reported.

In a statement, the US Embassy said it was “in touch with the General’s staff throughout the weekend, working to facilitate his travel.”

Joseph R. Donovan Jr., US Ambassador to Indonesia, apologized to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi “for any inconvenience” to Gatot, the statement said.

“We remain committed to our Strategic Partnership with Indonesia as a way to deliver security and prosperity to both our nations and peoples,” the embassy said.

The US State Department referred CNN to the statement by the US Embassy and wouldn’t comment further, citing privacy concerns.

The Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment.

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