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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 03:07 GMT
Indonesia wants US military aid

The Indonesian foreign minister, Alwi Shihab, has urged the United States to lift its ban on military aid to Jakarta.

Mr Shihab said it was time for relations to move on from the trauma caused by East Timor's bid for independence.

He told a conference in Washington on Indonesia-US ties that the ban had weakened the ability of the military to help police contain separatist movements in Indonesia.

He said it was in the interest of the United States and the Asia-Pacific region that Indonesia had the capability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. US military aid was suspended after Indonesia's armed forces were implicated in human rights abuses during the violence which swept East Timor before and after its vote cfor independence in 1999.

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