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Australia restores defense ties with Indonesia

By Ryan Maass
Australia restores defense ties with Indonesia
Indonesia initially severed its military relationship with Australia after one Indonesian officer took offense to reading material at an Australian military training facility. Pictured, Australian and Indonesian forces train together during Exercise Rajawali Ausindo 2016. Royal Australian Air Force photo by Sgt. Amanda Campbell

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Canberra and Jakarta will resume military training exercises and defense-related exchanges according to a joint statement from government leaders.

The move follows a rift between the two countries after an Indonesian officer took offense to allegedly insulting reading materials found at an Australian military training facility. IHS Janes reports the relationship was suspended on Jan. 4 2017.

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commented on the restored ties alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo, SBS reported.

"President Widodo and I have agreed to the full restoration of defense co-operation, training exchanges and activities," Turnbull told reporters.

Widodo went on to say both sides must respect one another's "territorial integrity" to maintain a strong relationship.

In addition to military exercises, the agreement facilitates defense-related trade and cooperation on counter-terrorism and maritime strategies. The two leaders went on to say they intend on strengthening their ties in the future.

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