Subject: U.S. in First Major Military Exchange with Indonesia Since Arms Embargo Lifted

US Donates Medical Equipment To Indonesian Military

JAKARTA, Jan. 20 (AP)--The U.S. donated $11 million worth of hospital equipment to the Indonesian armed forces Friday in the first major military exchange since the lifting of an arms embargo last year.

"The United States values its partnership with Indonesia and appreciates the vital role the nation plays in the security, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region," said Ambassador Lynn Pascoe.

The equipment, contained in 106 containers, contains enough medical equipment to set up a full U.S. military hospital complete with operating rooms, laboratories, intensive care beds, X-rays, a dental surgery and blood bank refrigeration, the U.S Embassy said.

The U.S. lifted a six-year embargo on military relations in November last year citing Indonesia's cooperation in the war against Islamist violence.

The U.S. froze military relations in 1999 over Indonesia's role in the violence surrounding East Timor's vote for independence in a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite.

The donation of the equipment sprang out of cooperation between the U.S. and Indonesian militaries during emergency operations following the Indian Ocean tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, said a U.S. military official.

Since the tsunami, the U.S. has taken several steps to restore military ties with Indonesia, including reviving a military officer training program, allowing the sale of non-lethal equipment, and in November allowing financial support.

---------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service

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