AUSSIE LAWMAKERS QUESTION NEW LINK WITH KOPASSUS

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 11) - Australia's
opposition Labor Party has called on the defense minister, Robert Hill, to
explain why Australia has re-established links with the Indonesian special
forces, Kopassus.

The chief of the Australian Defense Force, Peter Cosgrove, said
there is renewed cooperation between Australia and a unit of Kopassus
specializing in counter-terrorism.

Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, has questioned
why the move has not been announced by the government.

Rudd said he has serious concerns about Kopassus' historical
ties with paramilitary and terrorist groups.

"I'd simply draw your attention to the fact that back in
November 2002, the Howard government, through estimates - through the deputy
secretary of foreign affairs - said that Kopassus had had links with terrorist
organizations," Rudd said.

August 11, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

 

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