JAKARTA: US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel held talks in Indonesia yesterday as part of a tour to bolster ties with Southeast Asia. He met President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before talks with Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. He said President Barack Obama was “looking forward to seeing you in October” in Bali during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. He said the US was committed to “deepening ties.
US Apache deal with Jakarta
JAKARTA: The US said yesterday it would eight Apache attack helicopters to Jakarta as it seeks to bolster ties with Southeast Asia despite concerns over the Indonesian military’s rights record. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel disclosed the $500m deal, which includes pilot training and radars, to strengthen military ties as part of the US “pivot” towards the Asia-Pacific amid concern about Beijing’s growing assertiveness. A defence official added that the sale of the Apache helicopters, the first to the Indonesian military, was “prudent to support security in the region”.
Ex-Maoists join Nepal army
KATHMANDU: Nepal commissioned a group of ex-Maoist rebel fighters as officers in the national army yesterday, fulfilling a main component of a fragile peace deal that ended civil war but has failed to bring political stability. Some 70 Maoist fighters who battled the army in the decade-long conflict that ended in 2006 joined their former foes in a parade at the Nepalese Military Academy at Kharipati, 20km east of Kathmandu.