TITLE=AUSTRALIA / INDONESIA (L-ONLY)
INTRO: Australia is playing down Indonesia's
cancellation of a 1995 security treaty which
allowed for the sharing of information between
the two nations over perceived military threats.
However -- as Nino Tesoriero reports -- the
announcement marks a new low in relations between
the two countries.
TEXT: The situation in East Timor has marked an
escalation in tension between Australia and
Just last week, Australia announced it would
scale back its defense relations with Indonesia
because of the violence in East Timor. Australian
Prime Minister John Howard Thursday said he was
not surprised by Indonesia's latest move to
cancel a 1995 security treaty.
He told commercial television channel ten here
the cancellation was expected.
Indonesia feels that gestures of this kind are
probably necessary. That security pact really
didn't come into play at all over recent months.
We never saw it as being the solution to all the
problems of the relationship, as the former
government did, so I don't pay too much regard
and I am not particularly surprised by or
concerned about this decision.
Meanwhile, hundreds of foreign troops are
arriving in Darwin to join the first group of
multinational forces going into East Timor.
Australian, British and New Zealand troops will
make up the bulk of the contingent. Australia's
contribution is being described by officials as
the most significant military operation since
World War Two. (signed)
NEB/NT/GC / wd / wd
16-Sep-1999 05:41 AM LOC (16-Sep-1999 0941 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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