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Home >> World
UPDATED: 21:25, November 23, 2006
Indonesia may send troop to Iraq under UN coordination
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Indonesia might send troops under the United Nations coordination for a peace mission in Iraq on condition that its proposed exit strategy to settle the conflict in Iraq has been fully made into operation, a minister said Jakarta Thursday.

Indonesian has suggested that achieving national reconciliation, involving multi-national security forces and progress in rebuilding should decide the timetable for U.S. troops to exit from Iraq.

"Now we are waiting for whether the three steps can be made in well operation. Should the three can, we will consider to involve in the global path under the UN coordination," Indonesian Minister of Defense Juwono Sudarsono told reporters here.

"Afterwards, we will think about the possibility to send troops if the UN is involved in the three paths," he said.

Minister Sudarsono sees the recent visit of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem to Iraq and the visit of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to Iran could smooth the way for the regional involvement in the conflict.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said that Indonesia has thrown the concept and actively conduct efforts so that the exit strategy can be accepted by all concerned parties.

But U.S. President George W. Bush, who has been getting a high pressure from home to change tactic, did not make any comment after getting advice from his Indonesian counterpart during a joint press conference during his short visit in Bogor city near Jakarta on Monday.

Bush even adamantly opposed to give timetable for the U.S. troops to leave Iraq, saying that he still needed to get information from various sources, such as Pentagon and those in the field.

Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country, has paid a serious attention on the Middle East issue which most of its people oppose the U.S. double standard in the region and Afghanistan.

Indonesia has decided to send over 1,000 troops and officers to Lebanon for peace keeping operation. The departure of the first wave of the troops will be on Thursday night and will all arrive in Lebanon on Nov. 27, the military spokesman Major Muh. Irawadi said Thursday.

About 87 percent of the country's 240 million population is Muslim, most of them moderate.

Source: Xinhua

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