Pence tours Southeast Asia's largest mosque

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But as he spoke alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Pence reaffirmed the Trump administration's intentions to find "win-win" answers in all facets of America's relationship with Indonesia - from trade to defense.

Both Australia and the United States regard the asylum-seeker deal announced late previous year - but subsequently subject to hostility from Mr Trump - as a "done deal" but it is possible Mr Pence will confirm this publicly during his visit.

A major irritation for Jakarta is the inclusion of Indonesia in the list of 16 countries against which the Trump administration launched an investigation for possible trade abuses.

"As the largest majority Muslim country, Indonesia's tradition of modern Islam, frankly, is the inspiration to the world", he said.

Pence arrives in Australia late on Friday for the last stop on his 10-day tour of US allies in the Asia-Pacific region that has included a series of roundtables with leading business executives in South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia.

Widodo said at the joint news conference with Pence that the two countries would "increase the strategic partnership. which will focus on cooperation and investments".

He later met with leaders from a range of Indonesia's many faith communities, including Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, reports Reuters.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has his work cut out for him during his first Australian visit this weekend, with a new poll showing 60 per cent of voters have a negative view of Donald Trump. Beijing claims most of the South China Sea, but has overlapping claims with a number of Southeast Asian countries.

It was also the first visit of a U.S. high-ranking official at ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta after former USA secretary of state Hillary Clinton visited during Cambodia's ASEAN chairmanship in 2012.

Washington had billed Pence's visit to Jakarta as a booster for a strategic partnership between the world's second- and third-largest democracies, but a raft of bilateral disputes with USA companies could sap the goodwill from his trip.

There was a feel-good factor to the short visit but it was one that failed to address a handful of issues, including the recent dispute between the Indonesian government and American mining giant Freeport McMoRan, as well as a move to claw back taxes from Internet giant Google.

Mr Pence also praised Indonesia's moderate form of Islam as "an inspiration" at the start of a visit to the Muslim-majority country, which is seen as a bid by his administration to heal divisions with the Islamic world.

Japanese officials are indicating Tokyo intends to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact despite the USA withdrawal from the agreement.

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