Death Merchants meet in Sydney ahead of APEC summit

CANBERRA, Australia (AP): Army chiefs from 19 countries including the United States, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand met secretly in a Sydney hotel last week ahead of Asia-Pacific leaders forum, an official said Tuesday.

Australia's Chief of Army, Lt. Gen. Peter Leahy, said the meeting, which precedes the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation annual summit next month, was kept secret for security reasons.

"We were aware that there's a lot going on in Sydney and we didn't want to make a fuss," Leahy told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio, referring to added security measures being put in place in Australia's largest city for APEC.

Leahy's interview with the ABC is the first mention in the Australian media that the meeting had taken place. He did not say when last week the meeting was held.

Leahy said he and his international counterparts had discussed some of the challenges facing modern armies, such as how to prepare for disaster relief, peacekeeping and counterterrorism operations. (***)



AUSTRALIA: Kkkanberra urged to pressure Indonesia over Papua - 10/08/2007

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard is being asked to speak up for the human rights of Papua when he meets Indonesia's President in Sydney next month. The Chairman of the Papuan People's Assembly wants the issue raised when Australia hosts 20 national leaders during the APEC summit in September. Chairman Agus Alua claims Papua's special autonomy is being deliberately undermined by Indonesia's military.

Presenter - Karon Snowdon Speaker - Agus Alua. Chairman of the Papuan People's Assembly

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