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Indonesian and Australia Sign Security Pact

Improving Relations and Enhancing Security Between Near Neighbors of Australia and Indonesia the Aim of Agreement Signed in Lombok.

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On Monday, November 13, 2006, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and his Indonesian counterpart, Hassan Wirayuda, signed their names to the "Treaty of Lombok" stipulating specific steps to improve security and safeguard the national sovereignty of the two near neighbors.

Emphasizing that the just concluded agreement was not a military pact, Downer pointed to the document as a means to strengthen the sometime troubled relations between Indonesia and Australia by formally expressing Australia's commitment to respect Indonesia's territorial integrity.

Prompted, in part, by the recent political asylum given by Australia to Papuan separatists, the treaty stipulates that Indonesia and Australia: "shall not in any way support or participate in activities which constitute a threat to the stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of the other party, including by those who seek for encouraging or committing such activities, including separatism, in the territory of the other party."

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Downer said that any political upheaval in Indonesia aimed at national disintegration would represent a human rights disaster for the region. At the same time, however, the Australian Foreign Minister was adamant that nothing in the agreement signaled a coming crackdown on the guaranteed freedom of speech for Australian-based movements.

The treaty, still subject to ratification by the lawmakers of both Countries, provides for:

• Mutual respect and support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both States.

• Mutual non-interference in the affairs of both signatory states.

• Both States pledge not to "support or participate" in any way in the activities of any person or entity threatening the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the other nation.

• Both States pledge to refrain from threats or use of force against the territory of the other.

• Both States agree to regularly confer on defense and security issues.

• The treaty provides for closer and coordinated cooperation between the police forces of both countries.

• The treaty provides for close and extensive cooperation on counter-terrorism measures, including the sharing of intelligence, cooperation on immigration and border control; and joint responses to terrorist threats.

• Cooperation in the exchange of information and intelligence on security issues.

• Cooperation to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

• Increased cooperation in the area of bilateral nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes.

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