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NZ and Indonesia move towards stronger defence ties

Radio New Zealand International - June 1, 2017

The New Zealand defence minister and his Indonesian counterpart have signalled stronger defence ties between the two countries.

The ministers signed a Joint Statement on Defence Relations on Wednesday at a meeting in Jakarta. The statement identifies a range of areas to further strengthen the defence partnership between New Zealand and Indonesia.

They include joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, emergency assistance and training visits. The New Zealand Defence Minister Mark Mitchell said Indonesia played a fundamental role in supporting security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The joint statement issued by both governments following the meeting made no mention of instability in Indonesia's region of Papua, known widely as West Papua.

New Zealand-based Papua advocacy groups, and around a dozen MPs, have been urging the government to push Jakarta to do more about holding security forces in the region to account for reported human rights abuses.

A separatist conflict has simmered in Papua since its controversial incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

Source: http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/332042/nz-and-indonesia-move-towards-stronger-defence-ties