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Indonesia cuts military tie with Australia

Indonesia on Wednesday announced in Jakarta the suspension of all military cooperation with Australia over “technical” issues.

The Indonesian armed forces noted that though there were other sides to the issue; however, a report said the move came after “insulting” material was found at an Australian base.

Maj.-Gen. Wuryanto, Indonesian Military Spokesman said government would continue to communicate with them to sort out the issues.

A report said that the decision had been made in December after Indonesian army special forces trainers spotted materials in an Australian military training centre that were “insulting” to the Indonesian military.

It said that when the trainers complained to the school, they saw more text they considered insulting to Indonesia’s state ideology.

The report added that relationship between Indonesia and Australia are often testy.

This would not be the first time relations between Jakarta and Canberra were tested. In 1999, Australia ended military cooperation in protest over rights abuses in East Timor.

Indonesia has also cut ties once before, in 2013 over revelations that Australian spies had tapped then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s phone.

Cooperation between the Asia-Pacific neighbors is crucial, however, for larger operations.

After a 2002 attack on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, Canberra has said it is essential for the two countries to work together on counterterrorism.

President Joko Widodo had scheduled a visit to Australia in an effort to improve relations, but called off the trip due to unrest in Jakarta.


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