Indonesia suspends military cooperation with Australia

January 4, 2017 2:30 pm

A file photo of Indonesian Special Forces in Perth, (by Reuters)

Indonesia says it has suspended cooperation with Australia, reportedly over disrespectful training materials taught at an Australian academy.
Indonesian military spokesman Wuryanto said on Wednesday that cooperation, including military exercises, education and exchange programs, were all put on hold last month.
“All forms of co-operation with the Australian military, including joint training, have been temporarily withheld. I hope it can be resolved as soon as possible,” Wuryanto added.
He said the suspension was because of “technical matters” and that there were “ups and downs in every cooperation between two national forces.” He did not explain further.
According to Indonesian media reports, an instructor from Indonesia’s special forces found training materials at a military base in Perth that were believed to be disrespectful of Indonesian beliefs.
Australia’s Defense Minister Marise Payne also confirmed that Jakarta had suspended the cooperation. Some interaction between the two militaries “has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Cooperation in other areas is continuing,” he said.
She further said the army had “looked into the serious concerns that were raised and the investigation into the incident is being finalized.”
In 2013, Indonesia suspended military exercises with Australia over allegations that it had bugged the phones used by the then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2009.  The cooperation, however, was resumed the following year.
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