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Australia, Indonesia to Forge New Security Agreement

Australia and Indonesia have agreed to negotiate a new security pact to replace one that was scrapped in 1999.

The proposed treaty will cover a wide area including defense, police cooperation, counter-terrorism, and the territorial integrity of the two countries.

Foreign ministers Hassan Wirajuda of Indonesia and Alexander Downer of Australia announced the proposal Friday at the end of a bilateral ministerial forum in Canberra. Mr. Downer says the treaty could be concluded within months.

The two countries forged a treaty in 1995, but Indonesia abandoned it in 1999 in retaliation for Australia leading a U.N. peacekeeping force into what was then the Indonesian province of East Timor following violence surrounding its vote for independence.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP.