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Indonesia; Netherlands: Defense Cooperation Agreement Signed

(Feb. 7, 2014) On February 4, 2014, Indonesia and the Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in defense matters. The agreement was signed in Den Haag, the Netherlands, by Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert. (RI-Netherlands Cooperation in Defense Affairs, THE JAKARTA POST (Feb. 6, 2014).)

Purnomo issued a press release two days after the signing in which he hailed the agreement as important to the relations between the two countries. He noted that the countries had agreed to strengthen the friendship and technical cooperation between them based on mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as on the principle of non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs. (Id.)

Among the provisions in the MOU are agreements to conduct dialogues on safety issues, to hold exchange visits of defense authorities, and to cooperate in the production and maintenance of relevant technology. The Netherlands has offered to provide full scholarships to Indonesian naval cadets to study at the Netherlands Defense Academy and also offered graduate scholarships for defense personnel to enroll at Leiden University. (Indonesia and the Netherlands Strengthen Defense Cooperation, ANTARA NEWS (Feb. 6, 2014).) While in the Netherlands, Purnomo toured the two educational institutions as well as a shipbuilding facility in Breda and the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research. (RI-Netherlands Cooperation in Defense Affairs, supra.)

The two Ministers also talked about the regional and international security situation and discussed procurement by the Netherlands of frigates produced in Indonesia. (Id.)

Indonesia concluded a similar defense pact with Saudi Arabia last month. (Constance A. Johnson, Indonesia; Saudi Arabia: Defense Cooperation Agreement Signed, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Jan. 29, 2014).)