Indonesia week on Security Scholar

Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono is visiting Australia from today and so I’ll be writing short posts on Indonesia this week and, where possible, live tweeting some of the events broadcast on TV.

Accompanied by a delegation of ministers, SBY will meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Darwin for the second annual Indonesia-Australia Leaders’ Meeting. Hopefully, it will also be an opportunity to discuss the upcoming Defence White Paper in 2013.

The full text of the Joint Communiqué from the inaugural meeting in Bali can be found here. In terms of defence and security, this passage is of note:

Our cooperation on traditional and non-traditional security issues has never been stronger, underpinned by the Lombok Treaty and its Plan of Action. We reaffirmed our commitments under the Treaty, including to one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Australia was pleased to announce it would provide support to a new Indonesian Armed Forces Peacekeeping centre.

Reinforcing our comprehensive security cooperation, both leaders directed senior officials of both countries under the Security Cooperation Consultation Group to review existing cooperation, and to coordinate and set priorities under the Plan of Action of the Lombok Treaty.  Both leaders also further encouraged the finalisation of the Defense Arrangement as a basis for an enhanced defense cooperation between the two countries.

In light of discussion on Australia-Indonesia defence cooperation, encouraged in particular by Prof Hugh White, this seems an appropriate departure point at the political level for deepening ties. More on Lombok later this week.

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