Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Cooperation between Indonesia and Australia should be based on respect for each others sovereignty, House of Representatives (DPR) Deputy Speaker Agus Hermanto said, while commenting on the alleged insult to Indonesias state ideology of Pancasila by a lieutenant of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

"As a large country, Indonesia has a great identity and integrity. Hence, when our identity is questioned, we have to earnestly strengthen our sovereignty," Hermanto stated here, Thursday.

In his statement, Hermanto expressed support for the decision made by the Indonesian Military to suspend cooperation with the ADF, whose military officer had hurt the sentiments of the Indonesian people.

"It shows the Australian governments inability to restrain its people," he noted.

Additionally, Hermanto believed the suspension of cooperation with Australia would not impact the Indonesian militarys ability to upgrade its skills, as the country still had collaboration agreements with the militaries of many other countries.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto confirmed the suspension of cooperation was only for the language training program being conducted in Australia.

The suspension was triggered by concerns over some "teaching materials and remarks at an army language training facility in Australia," he stated.

Wiranto remarked that military cooperation with Australia would be resumed, once Australia took the necessary measures to address the issue of insult to Indonesia.

He claimed the defense ministers of both countries had taken steps to resolve the issue.

"The (Australian) commander for language training has been suspended. The Australian defense minister has taken the necessary measures and is awaiting bilateral meetings," Wiranto affirmed.

Further, the Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne has sent a letter of apology to her Indonesian counterpart, Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Payne confirmed the Indonesian government had raised concerns regarding some Australian "teaching materials and remarks" at the Perth base, which were reportedly witnessed by an Indonesian undergoing training there.

"Indonesia has informed Australia that defense cooperation will be suspended. As a result, some interaction between the two defense organizations has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Cooperation in other areas will continue," she added. (*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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