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Message-ID: <199712031747.MAA04828@access2.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 12:47:06 -0500
Reply-To: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: Alatas denies arms buildup threat (SCMP)
To: Multiple recipients of list SEASIA-L <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>

X-URL: http://www.scmp.com/news/template/templates.idc?artid=3D1997120303= 0445023ftop=3Dasiaftemplate=3DDefault.htxfmaxfieldsize=3D918

Alatas denies buildup threat

South China Morning Post Internet Edition
Wednesday 3 December 1997

DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR in Jakarta. Growing spending on arms in Southeast Asia is not a sign that countries are preparing for war, according to Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas.

Increased arms spending in Southeast Asia does not indicate the presence of enmity among countries, Mr Alatas told Parliament.

New weapons were for use against pirates and smugglers, he said.

An arms buildup does not always mean an arms race, Mr Alatas said.

Indonesia bought 12 Suchoi warplanes and nine helicopters from Russia last year for US$500 million (HK$3.86 billion), 24 British Hawk jet fighters for US$840 million and some decommissioned German navy submarines.

Mr Alatas warned that a territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Seas contained seeds of conflict in the future.

The islands are claimed by China and Vietnam, but the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have partial claims.