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U.S. to Sell Indonesia 8 Apache Helicopters

September 21, 2012

COMMENT: while strengthening ties between Indonesia and the US, it will also strengthen the Indonesian armed forces capacity to crush the struggle of the Papuan people. Shame on you Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. TAPOL

U.S. to Sell Indonesia 8 Apache Helicopters

September 20, 2012

Reuters

The United States said on Thursday it will sell Indonesia eight
AH-64/D Apache helicopters to strengthen security ties with the
largest country in Southeast Asia and the world’s most populous
Muslim-majority nation.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking during a meeting with
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in Washington, said
Congress had been notified of the intent to sell the aircraft.

"This agreement will strengthen our comprehensive partnership and help
enhance security across the region," Clinton said.

President Barack Obama’s administration has sought to buttress defense
ties with Indonesia as it refocuses its attention toward the
Asia-Pacific following long years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States has stepped up military cooperation with traditional
allies such as the Philippines and Australia, and joined regional
efforts to press China to accept a multilateral framework for solving
flaring territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Clinton did not reveal an estimated cost for the Apache deal, which
Indonesian media have reported has been in the works for months. The
attack helicopters, used by militaries around the world, are made by
Boeing.

The United States last year announced it was giving Indonesia two
dozen second-hand F-16 fighter planes, with Jakarta covering the
estimated $750 million needed to refurbish the late-model fighters and
overhaul their engines.

U.S. officials say the delivery of U.S. hardware will improve
cooperation and information-sharing between the U.S. and Indonesian
militaries as they face common security threats.

The announcement of the helicopter sale came as Clinton and Natalegawa
wound up the third regular U.S.-Indonesia joint commission meeting,
with both saying that ties between the two countries had grown
stronger.

Clinton, who visited Indonesia this month as part of an Asia-Pacific
tour, said trade topped $26 billion last year and that the United
States would invest $600 million over the next five years in
Indonesian clean energy development, child health and nutrition
programs and government transparency initiatives under its Millennium
Challenge aid program.

Indonesia has been among the nations hit by violent anti-American
protests over the past week to protest against a U.S.-made video seen
as critical of Islam.

Clinton said that the United States had decided to temporarily close
its diplomatic facilities in the country on Friday in case further
protests erupt. But she praised Jakarta for its response to the
crisis.

"We are very grateful for not only the cooperation and the protection
that has been provided to our facilities, but also for the strong
statements condemning violence," Clinton said.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)

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