|Subject: RI Parliament Ratifies Security
Pact With Australia
- Indon parliament ratifies security pact with Australia
- Joint Malaysian, Indonesian maritime operation "successful" - agency
- ASEAN defence ministers to discuss security, cooperation - Malaysian agency
- ASEAN defense meeting to engage dialogue partners
- ASEAN defence ministers urged to take part in 'exciting change'
Indon parliament ratifies security pact with Australia
By Karen Michelmore
JAKARTA, Nov 14 AAP - Indonesia's parliament has agreed to ratify a key security treaty with Australia, a year after both nations signed off on the historic pact.
The so-called Lombok Treaty - covering 10 areas including cooperation on defence, law enforcement, counter terrorism, maritime security, aviation safety, intelligence, energy, and emergency aid - is the first formal security agreement since Indonesia tore up the previous treaty during the 1999 East Timor crisis.
It was passed by Indonesia's parliamentary Commission One, which handles security and foreign affairs matters, early today (AEDT) with support of 9 of 10 political factions.
The other faction was absent from the parliamentary session.
A debate of more than eight hours preceded the vote.
"It's a new historical pillar in building a stronger relationship framework for these two neighbouring countries," Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told Antara.
The signing of the treaty a year ago was a key step in thawing relations between the two nations, after Indonesia's ambassador to Australia was recalled amid a row in 2006 when Australia granted protection to 43 Papuan asylum seekers.
In the treaty, both countries pledge not to support "in any manner" any activities which threaten the "stability, sovereignty or territorial activity" of the other, including separatist groups operating in their own territories.
Head of Commission One, Theo L Sambuaga, said the agreement was a base for wider cooperation "with the principle of mutual benefit, respect and not interfering in each others affairs".
Commission One MP Andreas H Pareira said the vote marked the "first stage" of the ratification process "because technically it will be brought to the plenary meeting to make it official".
"All factions in the commission have agreed to accept the agreement," Pareira told AAP.
"From 10 factions, nine agreed and one didn't attend but in their earlier opinion they supported the agreement."
He said there was some disagreement over definitions in the treaty, with some alterations made to the definition of security within the pact.
"It's nothing really difficult ... it's better to have a definite and clear definitions, like we want this security cooperation not to be a military pact or lead to a military pact," Pareira said.
"That has been agreed by the government and the parliament."
He said the treaty would become official by December 7.
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific November 14, 2007
Joint Malaysian, Indonesian maritime operation "successful" - agency
Source: Bernama website, Kuala Lumpur, in English 0007 gmt 14 Nov 07
Text of report in English by Malaysian official news agency Bernama website
[Unattributed report from the "General" page: "Successful Joint Malaysia-Indonesia Maritime Operation"]
Alor Star, Nov 13 (Bernama) - A 10-day coordinated operation by Malaysian and Indonesian enforcement agencies in the Straits of Melaka codenamed "Ops Patkor Optima", which ended yesterday, had achieved its objectives.
Ops Patkor Optima director, Commander Wan Burhanuddin Jusoh said the Malaysian enforcement agencies detained three of 108 vessels they inspected under the Fisheries Act 1985 and Immigration Act 1959.
The Indonesian agencies, meanwhile, detained two of 455 vessels they checked under the Fisheries Act, he said in a statement here today.
However, the statement did not state where the vessels were registered.
The annual joint operation was aimed at maintaining peace and security in the Straits of Melaka to prevent piracy, smuggling and activities which contravene the maritime law.
Wan Burhanuddin said it was also aimed at improving the security and confidence of vessels plying the Straits of Melaka that the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities could ensure their safety.
Seven ships and four aircraft from the Malaysian enforcement agencies and eight ships and one aircraft from the Indonesian side with a total 450 personnel took part in the operation.
The Malaysian enforcement agencies involved were the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Royal Malaysian Air Force, marine police, police's air wing, Customs, Fisheries Department, Marine Department, Immigration Department, Department of Environment, and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
The Indonesian agencies involved were the Indonesian armed forces, navy, Directorate General of Customs and Excise, coast guard, police and Immigration Department.
The operation was launched at the Indonesian naval base (Lantamal) by Lantamal 1 First Admiral Al Sadiman SE at Belawan, Sumatra on Nov 1.
Malaysian Maritime Coordination and Enforcement Centre director, First Admiral Datuk Pahlawan Mohd Rashid Harun closed the operation in Langkawi today.
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific November 14, 2007
ASEAN defence ministers to discuss security, cooperation - Malaysian agency
Source: Bernama website, Kuala Lumpur, in English 14 Nov 07
Text of report in English by Malaysian official news agency Bernama website
[Report by Jackson Sawatan: "Asean Defence Ministers Discuss Security Issues, Areas Of Cooperation"]
Singapore, Nov 14 (Bernama) - Defence ministers from 10 Southeast Asian countries have gathered here for the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) where they are expected to exchange perspectives on international and regional security issues.
During the three-day meeting which started with a welcoming dinner last night, Asean member countries would also be conducting a series of voluntary briefings on the national defence and security issues, including ongoing changes in the respective armed forces, Singapore's Ministry of Defence said.
"These exchanges are useful in forging mutual understanding and trust, and in identifying possible areas for cooperation," the ministry said.
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Defence Minister, arrived yesterday to attend the meeting which is the second after the inaugural ADMM hosted by Malaysia in May last year.
Najib chaired the first meeting in Kuala Lumpur where the ministers adopted the Concept Paper which provided the framework and basis for the Asean Defence Track.
The concept paper states that Asean defence ministers' meeting shall be the highest ministerial defence and security consultative and cooperative mechanism in Asean and that it shall report directly to the Asean heads of government.
Three papers are to be tabled for adoption at the meeting here, namely the protocol to the ADMM Concept Paper, the ADMM Three-Year Work Programme and the ADMM-Plus Concept Paper.
Among other things, they would chart the evolution of ADMM in the years to come, spell out priorities for the Asean Defence Track as well as laying out principles for ADMM's engagement of defence establishments from countries outside Asean.
The ministers will also sign an ADMM joint declaration which will be issued later today.
The report of the ADMM would then be submitted directly to the leaders for notation at the 13th Asean Summit in Singapore next week, the ministry said.
Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
ASEAN defense meeting to engage dialogue partners
SINGAPORE, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met here Wednesday and decided to engage defense establishments from countries outside Southeast Asia.
The defense ministers from 10 member countries signed a joint declaration before concluding the one-day ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM), committing to deepening cooperation with ASEAN's friends and dialogue partners through the establishment of the ADMM-Plus "at a pace comfortable to all ASEAN countries."
However, they only discussed the principle of the ADMM-Plus Concept Paper and had no details about what countries will be involved, Singapore Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean told reporters at a joint press conference after the meeting.
Responding to Xinhua's question about China-ASEAN security cooperation, Teo said China is one of the important dialogue partners of ASEAN and both sides have developed comprehensive cooperation in defense and security matters and he believed the cooperation will be deepened in the future.
"The ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting should look at tapping on the varied perspectives, expertise and resources of ASEAN's friends and dialogue partners such as the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea," Teo said.
According to the declaration, the ministers also adopted the Protocol to the ADMM Concept Paper, which outlines the institutional framework for the Meeting.
The third issue discussed and adopted by the ministers was a Three-Year Work Program, which sets the priorities for ASEAN defense and security dialogue and cooperation.
The ministers, who met for the second time since May last year when the inaugural meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, also committed to promote regional peace and security through dialogue and cooperation.
Teo, as ASEAN chairman, said the declaration was a testimony to the Meeting's commitment to enhancing regional peace and security, and in the context of ASEAN, to the realization of the ASEAN Security Community by 2015.
He also praised the mechanism of the defense ministers' meeting, saying it "provides ASEAN defense establishments with a much- needed platform for open and constructive dialogue and cooperation on a wide range of transnational defense and security issues."
He pointed out that the Meeting needs to engage other countries outside the region, saying it "must aspire to be a useful component in a regional security architecture that is robust, effective, and inclusive."
In addition, the ministers also discussed a broad range of security issues during the meeting, including the threat of terrorism, challenges of disaster relief and regional maritime security.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Earlier the day, the defense ministers also jointly called on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur November 14, 2007
ASEAN defence ministers urged to take part in 'exciting change'
Singapore - Defence ministers from the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) were urged Wednesday to take part in the 'exciting change' sweeping the regional grouping.
With the landmark ASEAN charter scheduled to be signed in Singapore November 20 at the leaders' summit, Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said the move toward integration applies to the armed forces of the 10 member countries as well.
It further commits the militaries to 'defence and security cooperation' and signals new directions in looking toward the larger Asia-Pacific region and beyond, Teo told the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM).
Teo said the ADMM, the second since Kuala Lumpur in May 2006, provides a 'platform for open and constructive dialogue on strategic issues' as well as a platform to promote practical cooperation among the ASEAN armed forces.
'This is especially crucial in view of the fluid regional security situation and the range of transnational security issues that the region faces,' he added.
Among those present was Major-General Aye Myint, Myanmar's deputy defence minister.
ASEAN has consistently rejected calls from rights groups that Myanmar be expelled or suspended for its bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in September.
The final draft of the charter leaves it up to the bloc's leaders to deal with errant members.
ASEAN includes Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Prior to the start of the three-day meeting, the ministers called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The charter, billed as ASEAN's constitution, gives the grouping a legal identity after 40 years of existence and enables ASEAN to facilitate negotiations regionally and globally.
------------------------------------------ Joyo Indonesia News Service