RealNews

Bush Open To Military Ties With Indonesia

President Bush told Indonesian TV this week that he was ready to resume military-to-military contacts with Indonesia, which were severed in 1999 after violence by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor. Bush said he believed the ties could be restored because he was pleased with the government’s cooperation in investigating the killing of two American teachers in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province last year. “I think we can go forward with [a] package of mil-to-mil cooperation because of the cooperation of the government on the killings of the two U.S. citizens,” he said. A senior administration official said that was a reference to cooperation between the FBI and Indonesian authorities, rather than to any break in the case. Bush’s remarks were released by the White House on Thursday. Gunmen ambushed the staff of an international school in Papua on Aug. 31, 2002, killing the two Americans and an Indonesian and wounding eight other Americans, including a 6-year-old girl. U.S. officials have said the “preponderance of the evidence” indicates that members of the Indonesian military were involved, but so far no suspects have been named. The Indonesian military has denied involvement. Full Story

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