Indonesia to watch operation of U.S. research ship

18:45, January 06, 2010      

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Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said here on Wednesday that government would watch closely the activities of U.S. research ship "Okeanos" while it was conducting research in Indonesia's Sulawesi waters, a local media reported.

Purnomo said that government would place an official onboard the modern research ship that is scheduled to commence its research in the waters in June this year.

"This is about a matter of sovereignty. We have to prioritize it in every cooperation with foreign party, including with the existence of Okeanos," the defense minister was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying.

He said that the president already issued his consent for the ship to undertake its research activities there.

The research conducted by the Okeanos ship is part of programs set in the cooperation of Indonesia and the United States in marine and fishery sector that was initiated on Sept. 18, 2007.

Previously, Indonesian Marine and Fishery Minister Fadel Muhammad said that the cooperation with the United States would last in ten years with initial area to be researched was North Sulawesi waters.

Chairman of U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Jane Lubchenco said earlier that the Okeanosship would be accompanied by Indonesian research ship Baruna Jaya while it conducted the researches.

"The exploration would be conducted in remote Indonesian seas that are less explored," Jane said.

Source: Xinhua
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