The prime minister, who will fly into Jakarta with some of Britain's leading defence manufacturers, said it was time to sell some of the "best defence equipment in the world" to an important democracy. Cameron is on a five-day trip to Asia, which will culminate in a historic visit to Burma on Friday, to try to boost Britain's economic ties with the world's fastest growing region.
On his first day in Japan on Tuesday Cameron mounted a strong defence of his decision to exploit a liberalisation of Tokyo's defence procurement rules. Executives from six defence companies, including BAE Systems and AgustaWestland, are accompanying the prime minister on his tour of Asia. "It is absolutely right that a British prime minister takes defence companies with him on a trade mission like this," he said in Tokyo.
As he prepared to fly to Jakarta, he said Britain should now be free to sell arms to Indonesia which he described as one of the world's great democracies. "Britain makes some of the best defence equipment in the world and it is right that it is available to Indonesia, under the very same criteria that we apply to all our partners around the world," he said in an interview with Jakarta's Kompas newspaper. "That is why some of our leading defence companies are with me on this visit."
There were reports last year that Britain was involved in negotiations with Indonesia to sell 24 Eurofighter Typhoons in a £2bn deal. Britain denied there were specific discussions, though ministers said they were keen to explore defence projects with Indonesia.
But Human Rights Watch has been highly critical of Indonesia's human rights record in recent years. On the eve of a visit to Jakarta by President Barack Obama last year, the group criticised Indonesia for a lack of accountability of security forces for "continuing abuses, including extrajudicial killings and torture in Papua and other areas". More
David Cameron calls for UK arms sales to Indonesia | Politics | The Guardian