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Indonesia suspends military co-operation with Australia

Indonesia said on Wednesday that it had suspended military cooperation with Australia over an alleged insult of Indonesian state ideology.

Indonesian military spokesman Major General Wuryanto said that cooperation has been suspended indefinitely, and that the decision was made after considering many matters.

Although Maj. Gen. Wuryanto declined to give the exact reason for the decision, he said among the factors were reports of an Indonesian instructor saying that a “laminated paper” displayed at the Australian Special Forces base where he worked was insulting.

“This is not a protest … we would like to establish a useful cooperation for the two nations based on mutual respect,” Maj. Gen. Wuryanto told The Associated Press. “Technically, it is not running well.”

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said in a statement that Indonesia had informed Australia of the decision.

Some interaction between the two militaries “has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Cooperation in other areas is continuing,” Ms. Payne said.

According to Indonesian media reports, the allegedly insulting paper displayed at the Special Forces base contained words that demeaned Pancasila, a set of vague principles that mandates belief in one God and unity among Indonesia’s 250 million people.

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