Singapore Resumes Military Cooperation After Indonesia’s Apology

The Singapore Armed Forces will resume cooperation with its Indonesian counterpart after its army chief apologized for the decision to name a navy ship after marines who bombed a building on the island in 1965.

“The SAF will reciprocate General Moeldoko’s positive intentions by resuming bilateral co-operation” and “strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship that has been built up over many decades,” Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a statement yesterday.

Tensions between the two nations escalated in February as Singapore said it will bar the Usman-Harun warship from calling at its ports and naval bases or taking part in joint military exercises, after Indonesia’s top army officials skipped the Singapore Airshow.

Moeldoko expressed regret over the naming of the Indonesian warship and that no ill will was intended, he said in a Channel NewsAsia interview this week. The apology is a “constructive gesture” to improve bilateral defense ties between the two countries, Ng said in the statement.

The Jakarta Post reported in February that Moeldoko said Singapore should stop regarding the two marines as terrorists.

To contact the reporter on this story: Glenys Sim in Singapore at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at Linus Chua, Colin Keatinge

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