[ETAN-key] Indonesia and U.S. sign defence framework arrangement
John M Miller
fbp at igc.org
Thu Jun 10 15:01:26 EDT 2010
Indonesia aims for further military ties with US
2010-06-10 13:49 (UTC)
JAKARTA, June 10 (Reuters) - Indonesia and the United States said on
Thursday they had signed a defence framework arrangement to pave the
way for further cooperation in military training, defence procurement
and maritime security.
However, a U.S. ban on military training since the 1990s for
Indonesia's notorious special forces unit Kopassus remains in place,
a U.S. embassy spokesman said.
Security cooperation is something both countries want to improve, and
Indonesia's defence minister said in March he was optimistic that the
ban on training for Kopassus could be lifted.
Ties between Washington and Jakarta cooled in the 1990s over rights
abuses, often linked to Kopassus in East Timor, Aceh and Papua, but
the relationship has warmed during the presidency of Barack Obama,
who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.
'We have been talking for some time both internally and with the
Indonesian government about how and under what conditions we might
pursue re-engagement with Kopassus that is in accordance with our
law, values and interests,' said Tristram Perry at the U.S. embassy in Jakarta.
Washington has gradually lifted military aid and sales restrictions
and Indonesia's defence minister said in March about 2,800 Indonesian
military officials were being trained in the United States.
Despite the lifting of some U.S. restrictions, Jakarta has shopped
elsewhere, turning to Russia for jet fighters and China for missiles.
It is now talking to U.S. defence firm Lockheed Martin about buying
Indonesia is expected to ask for more economic and military aid
during a planned visit by Obama, which has already been delayed twice
in 2010 and is now targeted for late in the year.
Indonesia has been a frontline state in the U.S.-led fight against
Islamist extremism, and has had considerable success in quashing
militants after deadly bombings by radical organisation Jemaah
Islamiah and splinter groups, which want to build a regional Islamic caliphate.
(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Alex Richardson)
((olivia.rondonuwu at thomsonreuters.com; Tel:+6221 384 6364 ext. 909;
Reuters Messaging: olivia.rondonuwu.reuters.com at reuters.net))
Keywords: INDONESIA US/DEFENCE
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