US Secret Service Arrives for Summit Preps

DENPASAR

An American Secret Service team has arrived in Bali ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama for an ASEAN summit next week.

The president is expected to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting, which will be held in Nusa Dua from November 14 to 19.

According to Jumarto, commander of the Ngurah Rai Airbase, which shares a runway with Bali’s commercial airport, a US Air Force plane carrying the specialist team arrived on Monday afternoon.

“It landed at 3pm,” he said.

Jumarto said he did not know the full details of the plane’s role, but said that it had carried all the American security staff intending to guard the president and oversee security during his visit, as well as security equipment.

“In addition, the plane was also carrying all the fittings and items required by protocol for Obama during his stay in Bali,” Jumarto said.

The full details of Obama’s arrival and length of stay have yet to be made public. However, he is expected to visit the craft village of Mas near Ubud on November 18.

“We’ve been coordinating and meeting with Bali Police on technical issues related to security,” said Klungkung Police chief Hadi Purnomo, adding that Obama was expected to visit the Rudana Museum in Mas.

Meanwhile, domestic security forces have continued to make wider preparations for the summit, with Bali Police holding a joint exercise in Denpasar on Monday.

Bali Police chief spokesman Hariadi said the exercise, which involved officers from various police areas in Bali as well as civilian security staff, was intended to create better teamwork and a unified vision.

“This exercise was to create a unified vision amongst all territorial units, especially the police. Each unit has its own task, for example the traffic unit, who will have to escort the state guests en route to their hotels,” he said.

Police have also prepared crowd-control equipment including water cannons in anticipation of major protests, while 80 specialist vehicles have been provided by the national government to aid with security operations.

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