Semarang, Central Java , MINA — US Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Erin McKee believes the military embargo on Indonesia is a thing of the past, and the US government remains committed to supporting the modernization of Indonesia`s primary weaponry defense system.
“The embargo has passed. It is a thing of the past, and now, we are speaking about the future of stronger cooperation between both countries. Of course, we support the modernization of the Indonesian military,” she informed ANTARA here on Wednesday.
On the sidelines of the delivery of eight Apache AH-64E attack helicopters at the Ahmad Yani Air Force Base, McKee expressed the United States` commitment to strengthening its strategic partnership with Indonesia by expanding and enhancing the existing cooperation.
“Military cooperation is one of the pillars of the implementation of a strategic partnership between Indonesia and the United States and cooperation in other fields that have been established by both countries,” McKee noted.
She asserted that there is no political interest and background in Apache`s purchase this time.
“This is all a result of good cooperation between the two countries,” she clarified.
McKee added that with the inclusion of Apache in the Indonesian primary weaponry defense system, the two countries will be able to maximize their role to support stability, peace, and security in the region.
It is all in the past
The military embargo was forced by the United States on Indonesia in the past. The US views that personnel of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) had committed human rights violations, among others, in Santa Cruz, Dili, in 1991.
The embargo was only imposed on deadly weapons. At that time, the United States had sought the Indonesian government`s accountability on the East Timor issues and Timika, Papua, case that led to the death of a US citizen.
Due to the embargo, Indonesia was unable to purchase military equipment, including spare parts, for F-16 and F-5 fighters, among others. This has reduced the level of preparedness of TNI`s primary weaponry defense system by up to 50 percent.
The military embargo was also imposed by the US ally on Scorpion tanks. When the embargo came into effect, the Great Britain had banned Indonesia from using Scorpion tanks during the conflict settlement in Aceh.
“It is all in the past, as now, we are building and strengthening mutually beneficial and bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the United States,” McKee stated. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)