‘No’ to dispatch of US troops


INDONESIA’S government will reject any attempt by Washington to send troops unilaterally to the country to help Americans evacuate from the recent waves of unrest, a senior military legislator warned yesterday.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Lieut-General Syarwan Hamid, told The Sunday Times that if the United States has drawn up such plans, it should have consulted Jakarta before announcing them.

“Indonesia and the armed forces, in particular, will not allow any foreign troops to just come in and do whatever they like,” he said, adding that even ordinary Indonesians would be upset by such action.

“It is tantamount to violating our sovereignty. No country would allow that and the US risks spoiling ties between the two countries by thinking it can go alone on this matter,” he said.

Lt-Gen Syarwan said that Jakarta would expect Washington to go through “proper diplomatic and military channels” if it was serious about sending troops to Indonesia.

Separately, a two-star general told The Sunday Times that US intelligence had informed the Indonesian government of a plan to evacuate Americans but gave no hints of a troop deployment.

“This unilateral announcement is bad for bilateral relations,” he said.

“It has never happened before.”

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