Indonesian officials were meeting with the
Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar told VOA by telephone Ambassador
But doubts were raised about the prospects for relief cooperation when Vice President
The vice president's statement "is specifically about [the focus of] foreign assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the long term. Not a military personnel," he said.
Abdullah noted that Kalla had said in earlier remarks to reporters that it "is necessary to ensure that we can use the assistance, so we focus more on foreign aid for rehabilitation and reconstruction the same as it was" after the massive tsunami that hit
Kalla also said emergency assistance is "permissible, as long as it meets our needs."
However he made clear
"No. We don't accept that," he said. "They want to send us hospitals - hospital ships. We have those. Remember our experience in
Luhut, the maritime coordinating minister, said he has already explained to
"It's true, he offered to provide a hospital ship, I have told him directly we don't need it," he said.
"What we need," he added, "is water purification, an effort to build an anti-earthquake house - that's what we need."
Luhut added that other forms of American assistance, including air transport, are "not a problem."
Other Indonesian officials said Tuesday foreign countries are already offering air transportation assistance, meeting one of the relief effort's greatest needs.
"We will get air transport assistance from other countries," said Wiranto the coordinating minister for politics and security. "And because the runway length is short - a maximum of 2000 meters - then the plane that can land is a large-bodied transport aircraft like the C-130 Hercules."
Wiranto did not say whether air transport assistance would require the involvement of foreign military personnel.
This article originated in VOA's Indonesian Service