24 Oct 2011

US endorses Indonesia amid Papua separatist moves

5:47 am on 24 October 2011

The US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says Washington will continue to develop military ties with Indonesia but keep a watchful eye on human rights abuses.

Mr Panetta says the US supports Indonesia's efforts against separatism - a reaction to last week's Papuan Congress which led to its leaders being charged with treason.

However, Mr Panetta says the US is monitoring possible human rights abuses after five people were found dead after security forces stormed the pro-independence gathering.

He says the US wants to ensure that discipline is taken and exerted against anyone who violates human rights.