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Powell promises Indonesia $50 million JAKARTA - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell promised Indonesia on Friday $50 million in coming years to help the country's security forces fight terrorism, but he made clear full military relations were still some way off. Powell arrived in Jakarta overnight, carrying the prospect of $16 million in emergency cash to help police fight terrorism in the world's most populous Muslim nation, regarded as Southeast Asia's weakest link in the U.S.-led war on terror. Powell was asked if the $16 million was in fact in the pipeline at a news conference and he replied: "With respect to various programmes we have been examining in military-to-military and counter-terrorism and other programmes, the number you have mentioned is not far off."
Forecasting future spending, he added: "I would put that roughly at $50 million over a several-year period." He is expected to elaborate on the spending plans later in the day. Washington has already approved $400,000 to train Indonesia's police this year. Powell has made clear he wants to give the same amount again in 2003 to the army, whose invasion of East Timor in 1975 ignited a wave of suffering in the territory that became independent in May. Powell argues that exposing Indonesian officers to their foreign counterparts will improve their rights record and has support from other Southeast Asian countries.
U.S. officials have also said Indonesia could get several million dollars out of a $17 million pot of Pentagon cash for counter-terrorism "fellowships" this year that has not yet been allocated. Fears that militant strains of Islam may take hold in the region have fuelled calls in Washington for more help for the vast archipelago, which has struggled to manage its chaotic transition to democracy after decades of authoritarianism. As he met Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, half a dozen radical Muslim protesters demonstrated, shouting that the United States and Powell were terrorists.



Posted in Terrorism @ 02 August 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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