U.S. to resume tie with Indonesian military special force

18:37, July 22, 2010      

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The United States Defense Secretary Roberts M. Gates said on Thursday that the United States Military will resume relation with Indonesian army special force known as Kopassus after 12 years of ban due to allegedly poor human rights record.

The secretary said that the decision was made after evaluating the Indonesian military reform over the past decade, ongoing professionalism of the Indonesian Armed Forces or TNI and the recent action taken by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense to address human rights issues.

"...the United States will begin a measured and gradual program of security cooperation activities with the Indonesian army special force," Gates told a press conference after meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the State Palace.

The accusation that Indonesian army involved on human rights violation before and after the referendum in Timor Leste in 1999 had also led the United States to impose an embargo on Indonesian military from purchasing spare parts of military equipment. But the restriction was then lifted years ago.

Gates said that the advance of the cooperation would depend on the continued implementation of reforms within Kopassus and the TNI as a whole. "We consider these a very significant development in our military to military relationship and look forward to working even more closely with TNI in the years to come," said Gates.

Indonesian military has conducted reforms such as stopping involvement on business and to focus only on stepping up professional.

During the meeting, President Yudhoyono and Gates discussed about regional and global security issues, said the secretary.

Gates is to meet with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro at his office on Thursday afternoon before leaving to the United States on Friday.

Source: Xinhua


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