In wake of tense Trump call, Pence aims to soothe Australia

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"Pence's visit to Indonesia is important because it shows that ASEAN is still within the. strategic radar of America", he said, noting that this is the first visit of a high-ranking USA official to the region.

For example, Indonesia was not listed in the travel ban order that sought to block new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries.

JAKARTA, Indonesia-U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Indonesia to open up its $900 billion economy more to U.S. businesses, pointing to $10 billion in recent deals as a sign of the potential. Pence appeared with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla for the announcement.

During his first official tour to the region, Mr Pence has been keen to emphasise the commitment by the United States to its alliances and partnerships in the region.

It came ahead of a visit by Mr Pence to the largest mosque in Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population, where he will hold a multi-faith dialogue.

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"I think that is why we saw him visit Masjid [mosque] Istiqlal and also why he attended an interfaith discussion, to assuage fears America is waging a war against Islam", Connelly says.

Some U.S. companies have a technological edge while Indonesia has a rising demand for power, "so that's a good fit", Neumann told Reuters.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Indonesian President Joko Widodo watched a traditional dance in Jakarta on Thursday.

The latest example of a U.S. company facing problems is a row between the government and mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, which runs a huge gold and copper mine in Indonesia, after authorities demanded they obtain a new licence to operate.

Pence's Muslim outreach in Indonesia has been welcomed locally, with Maruf Amin, the head of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country's top Muslim clerical body, saying he hopes that it "indicates a change in attitude" towards Islam.

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Upon entering the presidency, Trump pulled out of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade accord that would have stretched to nations around the Pacific Rim.

But Pence foreshadowed some reworking of the commercial and economic relationship saying that USA exporters should face a level playing field.

Tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, as well as territorial disputes in the South China Sea, also will likely be discussed during the vice president's three-day visit to Australia.

Among the 11 agreements were ones by Exxon Mobil to sell liquefied natural gas to Pertamina, Lockheed Martin to provide upgrades to the Indonesian Air Force's F-16s, and General Electric to develop electrical infrastructure in Indonesia.

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