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Jakarta Post

New US base in RI’s backyard

  • The Jakarta Post

Nusa Dua, Bali   /   Thu, November 17 2011   /  06:59 am

Indonesia has questioned the motive behind the United States’ move to turn Darwin, the Australian city closest to Indonesia, into a de facto US military base, warning that it could create mistrust among countries in the region.

“What I would hate to see is for the agreement to provoke a reaction and counter-reaction that would create a vicious cycle of tensions and mistrust,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told a press briefing here on Wednesday.

US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday unveiled plans to deepen the US military’s presence in Asia-Pacific, by establishing a US base equipped with 2,500 US marines in Australia’s Northern Territory.

“With my visit to the region, I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region,” Obama said in a ...