Timor Leste militaries to step up cooperation

Very worrying, possibly another reason for releasing Maternus Bere
from Becora prison. – Bere was indicted for crimes against humanity.

Hopefully cooperation won’t eventually see East Timorese soldiers
fighting with the Kopassus to suppress freedom fighters in West
Papua.

RI, Timor Leste militaries to step up cooperation

Thursday, September 3, 2009 23:13 WIB | National | | Viewed 221 time(s)

Dili (ANTARA News) – Indonesia`s and Timor Leste`s military chiefs
agreed here on Thursday to step up cooperation between the two
countries` armed forces.

The agreement was reached when Indonesian National Defense Forces
(TNI) Commander General Djoko Santoso met with his Timor Leste
counterpart, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, at the latter`s
headquarters in Tositolu, Dili.

“The cooperation will cover education, training, capacity building
and other things ,” General Djoko Santoso said.

Djoko said his visit to Timor Leste was significant because it was
proof that relations between the two countries were continuously
improving.

The Indonesian military chief who came to Timor Leste at General
Matan Ruak`s invitation was accompanied by a number of high ranking
TNI officials including the chief of the Udayana 9th Military
Command, Major General Hormangaradja Pandjaitan.

The TNI delegation arrived at Dili`s Nicolau Lobato international
airport at 9.45am local time aboard a plane from the 17th Squadron
based in Bali.

Matan Ruak expressed pleasure and pride about Djoko`s visit which
proceeded in an atmosphere of warm friendship and brotherhood. It
marked the first time for a TNI commander to vist Timor Leste since
the former East Timor declared its independence from Indonesia.

Security was tight but people in Dili and from surrounding areas
enthusiastically geeted the Indonesian military delegation.

A Timor Leste source said the invitation was actually sent to TNI
Headquarters a few years ago. “We invited the TNI commander several
years ago but it is only now that it could be met,” the source said.

General Djoko Santoso was welcomed with a military ceremony at the
Timor Leste armed forces headquarters. General Matan Ruak accompanied
Djoko throghout the four-hour visit.

“We have agreed the two countries` governments would facilitate
various cooperation activities and so an inventory of the needs for
it will soon be made,” Djoko Santoso said.

To newsmen General Matan Ruak said “the visit is very significant for
improving and boosting the relations between the two countries. We
were thankful to the Indonesian government as well as our government
for the opportunity,” he said.

Regarding the cooperation plan General Matan Ruak said that it would
also cover cooperation in border areas and capacity building.(*)

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