Australia offers condolences over Indonesia`s military chopper crash

"The Australian government, through the defense ministry, conveys its condolences over the helicopter crash tragedy that claimed several lives," Australian Defense Minister Marise Ann Payne stated.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Australian Defense Minister Marise Ann Payne has expressed her governments condolences over Indonesias military chopper crash that killed 13 servicemen in Poso, Central Sulawesi, on Sunday afternoon.

"The Australian government, through the defense ministry, conveys its condolences over the helicopter crash tragedy that claimed several lives," Payne stated after holding a bilateral meeting with her Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu here on Monday.

The two ministers agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the defense field.

She presented a copy of Australias Defense White Paper to Minister Ryacudu.

The Defense White Paper outlines a comprehensive and responsible long-term plan for Australias defense.

The two ministers also discussed the developments of the Indonesia-Australia Defense Strategic Dialogue (IADSD) that has been held 13 times.

Payne, Australias first woman defense minister, was accompanied by Australian Defense Forces Commander Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin and Deputy Head of Mission Justin Lee during the meeting.

Thirteen military officers were killed when their helicopter crashed in the district of Poso in Central Sulawesi on Sunday.

Todulako military regiment commander Col. Saiful Anwar was among the victims of the crash.

The crash of the Armys Bell 412 helicopter Number HA-5171 is believed to have been caused due to bad weather.

However, investigation is still ongoing to find the causes of the crash, Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman, the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNIs) spokesman, remarked at the TNI headquarters during a press conference here on Sunday.(*)

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