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Monday, October 25, 2004

 

Australian missiles “not directed against Indonesia”

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirayuda, has backed warmer relations with neighbouring Australia and said a security treaty will be important for strengthening ties.

Speaking exclusively to The Age newspaper, Mr Wirayuda “revealed concerns within Indonesia about Australian plans to buy cruise missiles.”

He said he told the public that Australia's cruise missiles "would not be directed against Indonesia but how many times am I able to convince the public that Australia has no ill intentions against Indonesia?"

To combat negative public perceptions, he said, a treaty ruling out use of force against each other would be "an important element in strengthening bilateral relations."

Australia’s aircraft and new weaponry are primarily configured to prevent a Chinese navy from taking possession of the South China Sea, an area the PRC claims as its indisputable sovereign territory (see Australia's cruise missiles have South China Sea role) .

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