Subject: AN: RI, US to restore joint military training programs

Apr 13 20:30 RI, US to restore joint mily training programs

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and the United States will restore their joint military training programs, especially for elite forces, after they were halted due to the US military embargo imposed on Indonesia for alleged gross human right violation in East Timor in 1999, an Indonesian military official said.

"Gradually, we will revive our joint military training programs," General Commander of the Army`s Elite Forces (Kopassus), Maj.Gen Syaiful Rizal, said after a visit of Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono to Kopassus headquarters in Cijantung, Thursday.

The decision to restore the joint military training programs was made in the Pacific Area Special Operation Conference (PASOC) 2006 held in Hawaii, USA, on April 3 to 8, in which the Kopassus participated after being absent following the US military embargo in 1999.

"Military cooperation, especially between Kopassus and the US elite forces, used to run well but it was halted because of the US embargo," Syaiful said.

He reiterated, cooperation between the two elite forces would be recovered including in joint training that would begin next year.

The joint training is expected to enhance bilateral military ties after the revocation of military embargo in mid November 2005.

On the focus for the joint training, Syaiful said, it would be started with program to increase soldiers` capability in administration of operation.

"It`s not yet in a joint training that involve a lot of troops in the field. It would be gradually," he added.

The Kopassus participation in PASOC 2006 was evidence that military ties between Indonesia and the United States had begun to recover following the lifting of the embargo.

The annual conference of PASOC is a forum for exchange of experience through joint training and exchange of information especially on special operations to combat terrorism.(*)

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