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Yudhoyono: Indonesia Will Not Allow Australian Troops on its Soil

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ruled out allowing Australian troops to be stationed on its soil or letting them carry out pre-emptive strikes against extremists on its territory. In an interview with The Bulletin magazine, the newly-elected Yudhoyono said relations with Australia would be a priority for his government but an excessive Australian security presence could be seen as intervention. “With good cooperation, there will be no need for the presence of the Australian military or police in Indonesia,” he said. “That would only create problems for Indonesian people, who could wrongly perceive that as a form ofintervention.”Relations between the two countries have been prickly since Australia led international intervention in East Timor in 1999 to stop a bloodbath by Indonesian troops and their militia proxies. However, police and other cooperation against Islamic extremists was stepped up after the 2002 Bali bombings. It was further increased after September’s bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta.Full Story

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