Australia and Indonesia have forged new defence ties that will focus on education and training, following a landmark meeting in Australia yesterday.

It was the first such meeting between Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon and Indonesian Defence Minister Dr Juwono Sudarsono in Canberra, marking the start of agreements following the Lombok Treaty, which looks at security cooperation between the two nations.

Fitzgibbon says talks focussed on dual efforts to reduce risk from terrorism and piracy and to increase the security of both nations using a combined force.

“The Joint Understandings will outline our mutual priorities for future defence engagement, including military training and postgraduate education, study visits and exchanges, combined exercises and maritime surveillance and patrol,” Fitzgibbon says.

By Penny Jones

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