VP Pence aims to reassure Australia after tense Trump call

Mr Pence, the first senior USA administration official to visit Australia since the Republicans' shock election wins a year ago, will meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney to discuss regional security and the North Korean nuclear threat, as part of efforts to reassure America's allies in Asia and smooth over relations with the federal government.

Indonesia is on President Donald Trump's trade hit list, and US 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.

Google's row concerns payment of back taxes and fines worth hundreds of millions of dollars, while Freeport's standoff with the Indonesian government over terms of a mining contract has crippled operations at its mammoth copper and gold mine in the eastern part of the country.

"We told them that there were more steps that needed to be taken", the adviser said, noting it was the only business issue that Pence raised in his Thursday meeting with Widodo.

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Rosenzweig also represents two other inmates scheduled to die this month - Jack Jones and Kenneth Williams. Griffen did not immediately return a message Monday seeking his reaction to the high court's order.

The US second-in-command's visit to ASEAN was the first since the new US administration was sworn in on January 20.

Pence, joined by his wife and daughters, later went on a tour of Jakarta's Istiqlal mosque, posing for pictures in the massive empty courtyard and walking through the five-storey prayer hall, big enough to hold 200,000 people. During Pence's meeting with Jokowi and their joint news conference, both addressed several key issues that Washington and Jakarta are cooperating on within that partnership, such as terrorism and maritime security.

Pence will then depart Jakarta for Sydney, Australia.

"His goal really is to reassure Australia of the closeness of the relationship, the value that the United States puts on this relationship, and that this is something the new administration intends to work on going forward", he said. Pence also communicated this to a roundtable discussion with business executives.

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As leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has voiced worries about Trump's immigration policy, which critics say is biased against Muslims.

Exxon Mobil will sell liquefied natural gas to Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina, General Electric will provide technology for Indonesian power plants, while Lockheed Martin will provide new weapons systems for F-16 fighter jets.

Trump is also expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam in November.

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