Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indonesia may sell weapons, supplies to Iraq, Uganda

Indonesia may soon sell weapons and military supplies to Iraq and Uganda, in what a top defence official said would be a first for an Asean member nation.

“We are inviting Iraqi defence officials to attend a ceremony commemorating the 67th anniversary of the TNI [Indonesian Military] on October 5,” Deputy Defence Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said yesterday.

“We are inviting Iraqi officials so they can also observe our defense industries, which produce both weapons and other supplies such as bulletproof vests, helmets, boots and uniforms.”

Sjafrie, who recently returned from a visit to Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, said that he met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, who instructed his deputy defense minister and military chief to follow up on the Indonesian offer.

During the meeting, Sjafrie presented Al-Maliki with an SS-2 assault rifle and a model of an Anoa armored personnel carrier (APC) produced by state arms manufacturer PT Pindad.

Sjafrie said that both Iraq and Uganda had shown interest in procuring Indonesian-made weapons.

“The discussion to supply weapons to Iraq is part of our efforts to help rebuild the Iraqi armed forces after the [US] war,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to inaugurate four Defence Ministry officials.

“Other efforts include capacity building, territorial development, anti-terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

During the visit, Sjafrie was accompanied by PT Pindad president director, Adik Avianto Sudarsono.

Sjafrie that Iraq has been focusing on developing its ground forces, although its military also needed medium and light transport aircraft, such as the CN-235 and NC-212 built by state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

On Uganda, Sjafrie said that a team from the Defence Ministry would depart for Entebbe in the third week of September to make their sales pitch.

“We have been exporting our weapons and supplies to other countries, such as Asean countries, for a long time and now we want to expand the market and volume,” Sjafrie said.-Asian News Network (Ausgust 25, 2012)

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