Indonesia Suspends Military Cooperation With Australia

Indonesia Suspends Military Cooperation With Australia
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Indonesia has suspended military cooperation with Australia, reportedly after training materials deemed offensive were found at an Australian Special Forces base in Perth.

Defence Minister Marise Payne has stated that Australia had been informed by Indonesia of the suspension and that “some interaction” had been postponed until the matter is resolved.

Some interaction between the two militaries “has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Cooperation in other areas is continuing,” Payne said.

Payne said that the chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, wrote to his Indonesian counterpart, General Gatot Nurmantyo, vowing that the matter would be addressed.

Indonesian military spokesman Major General Wuryanto stated on Wednesday that cooperation has been suspended indefinitely, and that the decision was made after many matters were considered.  Although he declined to give the exact reason for the decision, he said among the factors were reports of an Indonesian instructor saying that a “laminated paper” displayed at the Australian Special Forces base where he worked was insulting.

“This is not a protest … we would like to establish a useful cooperation for the two nations based on mutual respect,” Wuryanto told the AP news agency.

“Technically, it is not running well.”

It was unclear what exactly in the materials had caused offence.

According to Indonesian media reports, the allegedly insulting paper displayed at the Special Forces base contained words that demeaned Pancasila, a set of vague principles that mandates belief in one God and unity among Indonesia’s 250 million people.

Source – Agencies

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