Indonesia's president-elect holds talks with Malaysian leader on bolstering ties

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Indonesian President-elect Prabowo Subianto held talks Thursday with Malaysia's leader on bolstering bilateral ties as part of a regional visit that has also taken him to China and Japan.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said he and Subianto discussed next steps to strengthen bilateral ties, and also exchanged views on their political experiences.

“Our political journeys are almost similar as we were both tested with various challenges before being appointed," Anwar said in a statement on Facebook after their meeting. He said Subianto also recalled his secondary education at a school in Kuala Lumpur. “May Malaysia-Indonesia relationship continue to be strengthened for our common good,” he added.

Subianto, who is currently defense minister, will succeed Joko Widodo in October. The wealthy ex-general chose Beijing for his first official visit after his February election victory in a bid to emphasize the countries’ robust ties amid rising tensions in the South China Sea. In his Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Subianto pledged a continued friendly policy toward China.

He then flew to Japan where he held talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday, and pledged to strengthen ties including defense cooperation.