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DATE=9/16/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=AUSTRALIA / INDONESIA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-253945 BYLINE=NINO TESORIERO DATELINE=SYDNEY CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 Indonesia. 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. //HOWARD ACTUALITY// 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. //END ACTUALITY// 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) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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