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[Press statement]

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Statement by the Minister for Civil Aviation, The Hon. R. fit. C. Swartz

The Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. R.W.C. Swartz, today met Dr. Frans Seda, lecturer to an Indonesian Governmental Delegation, to discuss an Air Services Agreement between the

two countries.

In welcoming Dr. Frans Seda, Mr. Swartz said : ! 'It gives

me very great pleasure indeed to welcome, on behalf of the Australian Government — a delegation from Indonesia for the most important discussion on , air services arrangements with our nearest neighbour.

As close neighbours, Australia and Indonesia naturally have ei number of interests in common. We share, for instance, a land border between the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and West Iran, and have a common interest in the security of our region.

Since then, relations have not always been easy but in recent years we have come to enjoy nn increasingly open and easy relationship.

One indication, of this is the number of high level visits between our two countries, visits which have provided a continuing and wide ranging exchange between the two Governments.

I have a particular reason to be delighted at seeing you here and it is only a short time since I had the pleasure of visiting your country on the occasion of the commissioning ceremony for the i,. F. T. N, network. I must say that I was moved by the warmth and the hospitality with which I was greeted by you and everyone I met there.

I especially appreciated the opportunities you and I had, Sr. Beda, to discuss matters of mutual interest and I look forward to taking up some of these matters again over the next few days.

For twenty years now an excellent relationship has been maintained between our two countries in the field of civil. aviation.

Qantas has a long history of operation through Indonesia. It first commenced calling at Karachi in 1950. We have greatly appreciated the friendly and helpful attitude developed by your Government towards our national airline throughout this period,

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Your Ministry has provided much assistance to Qantas,

particularly at times wheh }he airline has faced difficulties maintaining its services. This assistance enabled it to operate to and through Indonesia without any break in continuity.

I hope and believe that the airline has made a valuable contribution to essential communications between Indonesia, Australia and other areas.

Frome time to time, we have had the pleasure of welcoming Indonesian aviation officials to our country, some of them on training courses and some on observation and familiarization visits.

We welcome these visits as we feel they did much to strengthen thhw close working relationship between our aviation administration which are so important for the development and maintenance of

safe and efficient air links between our countries .and with the outside worlds _

With this background of friendly and co—operative aviation relations between our two countries, I feel confident that our discussions over the next few days will lead to a fruitful and mutually beneficial exchange of rights.. The embodiment of

our air services arrangements in permanent treaty form would, I am sure, consolidate our aviation links as well as giving further concrete expression of the close and friendly ties already existing between our two countries, in many fields.

CANBERRA March 3. 1269 --_ P. M.