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'Indonesia will resume cooperation with Australia if substantial changes are made'

Jumat 29 Nov 2013 06:41 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, second from right, stands next to Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro during a welcome ceremony prior to their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, second from right, stands next to Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro during a welcome ceremony prior to their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013.

Foto: AP/Dita Alangkara

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Indonesia will resume military and intelligence cooperation, as well as cooperation to prevent illegal migrant smuggling, with Australia only if Australia agrees to sign a new code of conduct, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said.

The code of conduct should include a new commitment on intelligence activities, the defense minister added, after meeting with lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

"Indonesia will resume cooperation with Australia if substantial changes are made. As a result of the suspension of cooperation, we cancelled three joint military training exercises with Australia. Joint patrols to prevent the boat people from reaching Australia were also halted," Purnomo added.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said a code of conduct is required to determine how neighboring countries, such as Australia and Indonesia, should behave with each other.

"In a recent speech on the spying allegations, President Yudhoyono made it clear that certain steps needed to be taken to restore bilateral relations. A code of conduct will rebuild trust between the two nations and only after that, we can start talks on resuming the suspended cooperation," Marty added.

Relations between Indonesia and Australia have been strained by allegations that Australia tapped the private cellphones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and some Indonesian ministers in 2009. In response to the allegations, Indonesia temporarily suspended military and intelligence cooperation with Australia, including cooperation on joint forces to prevent illegal migrant smuggling.

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