US Restores Relationsip with Kopassus

United States Defense Department said today that the ban on contacts with the Indonesian Army's elite commando troops Kopassus has been revoked for more than 10 years since enacted.

Simultaneously with the landing of U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at presidential office this afternoon, Gates' subordinates at Pentagon, announcement it officially. Gates himself came to deliver his government's decision directly to Yudhoyono.

"These initial steps will be implemented within the legal boundaries of United States and does not imply a reduction in importance of the issue of human rights and accountability," said Gates told reporters at the State Palace.

Pentagon has long pushed repeal the ban on contacts with Kopassus in effect since 1999 but opposed by U.S. State Department and White House presidential office, because the opaque record of Kopassus about human rights in Indonesia.

Now, Pentagon certain reforms in Special Forces/Kopassus, part of the jargon of "reform within the Armed Forces/TNI" which touted the government has been going pretty well for last few years. Even Pentagon's media affairs secretary who joined Gates traveling to Jakarta today said "The unit was different from the impression that attached to its reputation."

As part of "first steps" which said by Gates, Pentagon said it would limit contact with Special Forces officer level.
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