Army Chief Heads to Jakarta to Smooth Ties

Canberra, 11 Jumadil Awwal 1438/08 February 2017 (MINA) – Australian and Indonesian defence officials are set to meet in Jakarta on Wednesday – just over a month after language training ties between the two countries were suspended due to ‘offensive’ training material at a Perth base.

Indonesian military spokesman, Major General Wuryanto was quoted by AAP as saying that Australia’s chief of army Angus Campbell will first meet his Indonesian counterpart on Wednesday morning in Central Jakarta, before travelling to military headquarters in the capital’s east.

Here he is expected to meet with chief of military General Gatot Nurmantyo – who made the shock announcement in early January that defence co-operation was suspended.

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Initially it was reported the suspension would apply to all military ties, however, the government later said it was only in relation to language training.

Gen Nurmantyo said an Indonesian officer had discovered material while on a language training course at a Perth base last year that poked at his country’s founding principles – Pancasila – and also suggested its province of Papua should be independent.

Australia is slated to hand over their findings of an investigation into the matter during the closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

Late last month Gen Nurmantyo, joined the country’s defence and foreign ministers, as well the head of intelligence at parliament for the closed-door meet that ran for more than six hours in Jakarta.

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He said then that the findings of the report, as well as the meeting on Wednesday, will determine whether or not defence cooperation between the two countries will continue. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)