S'pore trying to scuttle defence pact: Indon minister
It is avoiding having to sign extradition treaty as part of the day, he says.
Indonesia's defence minister has accused Singapore of trying to scuttle the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) so it will not have to sign an extradition treaty as part of the deal, said reports.
The defence pact and a landmark extradition treaty were signed as a package in April between the two nations, but have not been ratified.
A scheduled signing of three implementing agreements (IAs), detailing specific areas of cooperation, was delayed at the last minute because Indonesia requested changes, Singapore has said.
Speaking to the National Defence Institute on Tuesday, Dr Juwono Sudarsono said that Singapore had upped the number of days it wants for military training in Indonesian territory to 15 days a month.
"I said that is crazy, half a month being used for military training. We want it to be four to six times in a year, considering the environmental concerns, fishermen's livelihood and common security," he said.
"They intentionally raised the figures so that the DCA and its IAs get deadlocked so that the extradition treaty also gets deadlocked," he was quoted by the Media Indonesia daily.
By having an extradiction treaty, Singapore would in effect admit that it harboured fugitives who absconded with ill-gotten gains from Singapore, he added.
Indonesia's parliament had demanded a fine-tuning of the implementation agreements, saying the original agreement was overwhelmingly in favour of Singapore and put Indonesia's territorial sovereignty at a disadvantage.
Singapore's foreign ministry in June warned Indonesia that the DCA could fall through if Jakarta were to insist on making last-minute changes to the text of the three IAs.
Singapore's Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean has made clear that the DCA is neither new nor a one-way street.
The two armed forces have been training together for 20 years, with the earliest agreements signed in 1988, he said in an interview on Wednesday to mark SAF Day.
"In fact, the agreements will allow what has been going on for the past 20 years to resume," he added.
And both countries have benefited, said the minister, alluding to criticisms from some quarters in Jakarta that the deals were skewed in Singapore's favour.
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