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Indonesia warns against 'arms race, power projection' after AUKUS deal

Escalating arms race, power projection will threaten security, stability in Indo-Pacific, says Indonesian foreign minister

Devina Halim  | 22.09.2021 - Update : 22.09.2021
Indonesia warns against 'arms race, power projection' after AUKUS deal

JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Indonesia on Wednesday said it is imperative to avoid an arms race and increased power projection in the Indo-Pacific region as tensions rise after a new security pact between the US, UK and Australia.

Indonesia does not want an escalating arms race and power projection in the region that will threaten security and stability, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said at virtual news conference after a meeting on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.

Under the AUKUS pact unveiled last week, the US and UK will provide Australia technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.

Amid concerns over the transfer of nuclear technology, Canberra has stressed that it has no desire ​​​​to acquire nuclear weapons or civil nuclear capability.

“We accept Australia’s explanation. We listen to the commitments given by Australia, including to continue to respect the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), non-proliferation principles, and international law,” Marsudi said.

Since the alliance was announced on Sept. 15, Jakarta has pressed Australia on its NPT obligations.

“Indonesia stresses the importance of Australia’s commitment to continue meeting all of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations … [and] calls on Australia to maintain its commitment towards regional peace, stability and security,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week.

Support for Afghanistan

The Indonesian foreign minister reaffirmed Jakarta’s commitment to support Afghanistan, vowing to boost cooperation with religious figures and enhancing efforts to empower women.

“Indonesia wants to see the Afghan people enjoy peace, prosperity and their rights, including women’s rights,” Marsudi said.

* Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita

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