Australia air force chief offers apology: TNI commander

Jakarta, Jan 5 (Antara) - Indonesias military commander, General Gatot Nurmantyo, has said the chief of staff of the Australian Air Force, Marshal Mark Donald Binskin, has offered an apology over the Pancasila insult case committed by a Australian Defense Force member.

"I thank Australian Air Force chief of staff Marshal Mark Binskin for the apology, and the decision to review the Australian Defense Force curriculum and investigate the case," he said here on Thursday.

Marshal Mark Binskin has sent a letter to the Indonesian military commander offering an apology, plans to improve the curriculum, and investigate, as well as send the chief of the Australian Army, to visit the Indonesian army chief of staff and the Indonesian Military Force (TNI) commander to ask for an apology and clarify the incident.

"Marshal Mark Binskin and I are friends. He is my good friend and he has sent a letter to me with regard to offering an apology," he said.

Indonesias minister of defense Ryamizard Ryacudu said that Australias minister of defense Marise Payne offered an apology to Indonesia following the insult on Indonesias ideology Pancasila committed by one of the ADF member.

"Australias minister of defense wrote me a letter offering an apology over the incident," he said at his office here on Thursday.

Marise Payne also called him personally on Thursday afternoon and again expressed regret over the incident.

"Australias minister of defense also said he would investigate the case thoroughly and firmly follow it up," he said.

Ryamizard said he has accepted the apology and respected the Australian stand.

"I will show the letter to (the President) later," he said.

General Gatot Nurmantyo has temporarily suspended military cooperation with the ADF since December 2016.(*)

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