Today I completed a two-day visit to Jakarta, Indonesia. This was my eighth visit to Indonesia as an Australian Government Minister and my second visit to Indonesia as Minister for Defence.
This follows my visit in September last year for the inaugural Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting between Australia and Indonesia.
Yesterday the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, and I met with our Indonesian counterparts, Dr Marty Natalegawa and Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro, for the second Annual 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
The 2+2 Meeting is an important component of Australia strategic dialogue with Indonesia, alongside the Annual Leaders’ Meeting and the Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
The outcomes of the 2+2 Meeting are outlined in the Communique released by Ministers at the conclusion of the meeting.
Following the 2+2 Meeting, Senator Carr and I called on the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
In addition to our discussions during the 2+2 Meeting, I also met separately with Minister Purnomo to discuss progress in the bilateral Defence relationship.
This was the seventh time that I have met with Minister Purnomo in less than two years.
Australia and Indonesia have a well-developed Defence relationship focussed on counter-terrorism, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping.
We agreed our officials will now work together to examine further areas for collaboration. We also agreed that we would look for opportunities to engage with other partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
During our meeting, I confirmed to Minister Purnomo that the Australian Government is willing to sell five retired C-130H aircraft, along with a simulator and spare parts, to Indonesia at below market value.
This would be in addition to the four C-130Hs that Australia is already in the process of transferring to Indonesia, and would further boost Indonesia’s capacity to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters.
Our officials will work to conclude arrangements for this in time for Minister Purnomo and my second Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting, which will be held in Perth later this year.
While in Jakarta, I had the honour of laying a wreath at the Kalibata Heroes’ Cemetery. More than 7,000 veterans of the Indonesian National Revolution, along with Japanese veterans who fought for the Indonesian independence, are buried at the Kalibata Heroes’ Cemetery.
I also delivered a speech to the Indonesia-Australia Defence Alumni Association, IKAHAN, on our strategic challenges and opportunities.
IKAHAN strengthens the people-to-people links between the Australian and Indonesian Defence organisations and encourages deeper engagement on mutual security interests.
In addition, I met with Former Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda. In February 2008 in Perth, Dr Wirajuda and I exchanged notes on the Lombok Treaty, which brought the Treaty into force.
The Lombok Treaty establishes the modern framework for cooperation between Australia and Indonesia in defence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, maritime security and disaster response.
In September last year, Minister Purnomo and I signed a bilateral Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which introduces the formal framework for practical Defence cooperation under the Lombok Treaty.
Mr Smith’s Office: Sacha Fenton (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999