Indonesia has abandoned plans to buy 80 second-hand tanks from the Dutch army and has placed the order with Germany instead, according to local media reports.
According to the Jakarta Post, the government opted to do business with Germany because it ‘offered more security about the delivery date and the number of tanks’.
A majority of Dutch MPs had opposed the sale because of the human rights situation in Indonesia. The deal would have generated €200m towards the defence ministry budget.
Kees Homan, from the Clingendael international institute, said he did not think the relationship between the Netherlands and its former colony had been damaged by parliament’s reluctance to approve the deal. ‘Indonesia will respect parliament’s decision to block the deal,’ he told BNR radio.
However, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is quoted by the Volkskrant as saying the relationship between the two countries has been ‘scratched’ and that he would do all he could to repair it.
Meanwhile, the ruling right-wing Liberals have accused the Labour party of double standards over the deal.
VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke told Radio 1 news the party was part of the government both four and six years ago when frigates were sold to Indonesia.
Opposition to tank sale continues, cabinet to rethink
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