Indonesia opposes potential US plan for base in Australia

Posted on March 30, 2012

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presstv
Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:46AM GMT
Indonesia has objected to a potential plan by the Pentagon to build a military base in Australia’s Cocos Islands, saying the initiative threatens Indonesian sovereignty and security.

“Our protest was based on the data we already gathered regarding the issue. The data were gathered through monitoring using planes and radar,” Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto told reports in Jakarta on Thursday.

Suyanto said the Indonesian government had made its objection known through a protest note sent to the US government.

On Wednesday, Australia’s Defense Minister Stephen Smith said his country was open to the idea of allowing the Pentagon to use the Cocos Islands as a base for surveillance aircraft, including unmanned drones.

Smith added, however, that the islands should be considered as a future option, as major infrastructure works would be required to prepare any island for such operations.

The US plan is likely to anger China as well because the South China Sea would be within the flying range of US spy planes if the Cocos Islands host a US base.

The Cocos Islands consist of two atolls and 27 islands and are located in the Indian Ocean, some 2,950 kilometers northwest of Perth, Western Australia, and 1,272 kilometers southwest of Jakarta.

MN/HJL

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