Subject: AN: RI, US special forces to resume cooperation

Nov 10, 2006

RI, US special forces to resume cooperation

Magelang (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian and US army special forces will resume cooperation following the lifting of the US military embargo on Indonesia some time ago, the chief of the Indonesian army`s special force (Kopassus), Major General Rasyid QA, said here on Friday.

"The cooperation will be resumed not all at once in all fields, but in stages," he said to ANTARA News when accompanying the army chief of staff during his working visit.

He said that in the initial stage, the cooperation would be focused on education and training of Kopassus officers considering that human resources development was a vital part in building a reliable force.

After human resource development is already established cooperation will be upgraded to weaponry which is needed to support a special force`s role, he said.

Kopassus had a cooperation and joint exercises with its counterparts of countries such as Singapore and Thailand. The joint exercises with Australia and the US were halted following the US embargo imposed in 1999.

Indonesia and Australia resumed cooperation especially with that country`s Special Army Services (SAS) in 2004 through two army talks.

Indonesia and the US meanwhile have started considering holding two army talks as part the US-Indonesian Bilateral Defence Dialogue.

Indonesia and the US have been engaged in security cooperation in the framework of the Indonesian-US Security Dialogue (IUSDD) since 2002. The two countries have also been engaged in defense cooperation under the United States-Indonesia Bilateral Defense Dialogue (IUBDD) which was discontinued after the US imposed an embargo on Indonesia.

Following the lifting of the embargo, the two countries agreed to resume their defense and security cooperation.(*) 

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