US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Indonesia for Joko Widodo's presidential inauguration on Monday, seeking more help from Southeast Asian leaders in the US-led effort against Islamic State in the Middle East.
In a one-day stop in Jakarta, capital of a country with the world's largest Muslim population, Kerry plans bilateral meetings with Widodo, the prime ministers of neighboring Malaysia and Singapore, the Sultan of Brunei, Australia's prime minister and the foreign minister of the Philippines.
Senior officials of the US State Department said the talks would touch on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China's increasing assertiveness is a worry to the United States and its Asian allies and partners, the fight to contain Ebola, and a Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership under negotiation.
But the priority would be to seek more help in the US-led fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the officials, who declined to be identified, told reporters on Kerry's flight to Jakarta.
The discussions would cover ways to block Islamic State recruitment of fighters from Southeast Asia, preventing the return of hardened fighters to the region, and blocking militant financing, one of the officials said.