Indonesia halts military cooperation with Australia
Jakarta: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Wednesday said Indonesia has temporarily halted its military and intelligence cooperation with Australia over the latter`s wiretapping of Indonesian leaders.
Besides notifying people that Indonesia has submitted its official query to Australia about the wiretapping issue, President Yudhoyono ordered a stop to several forms of joint military drills with Australia in all forces that include the navy, the Army and the air force, Xinhua reported.
The president also ordered a stop to intelligence information sharing with Australia.
"I have ordered to temporarily stop the coordinated military operation aimed at intercepting people smuggling on waters. We cannot proceed on those activities if our troops are being tapped as well as us," the president told a press conference held at the presidential palace here.
Jakarta`s latest move came after the withdrawal of Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Najib Riphat Koesuma in response to reports in Australian and British media about wiretapping activities conducted by Australian intelligence service on the cellphones of President Yudhoyono, the first lady, vice president and several of the president`s aides in August 2009.
Indonesia previously lodged a strong protest against Australia and the US following reports by Australian and German media that the two countries have been using their embassies in Jakarta to extract intelligence information with enhanced wiretapping facilities set up in their embassies.
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