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Australian General Cosgrove Visits Aceh

General Cosgrove Visits Aceh

Chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, today visited ADF personnel working on tsunami relief operations in Aceh.

The General met with the crew of HMAS Kanimbla, viewed the reconstruction work being done by Army engineers and toured the Anzac Hospital which was recently handed-over to AusAID and Indonesian administrators.

General Cosgrove said he was pleased to see first hand the magnificent work done by the men and women of the ADF.

"You truly appreciate the magnitude of the work and the progress that has been made when you are here on the ground," he said.

"Like all Australians, I am very proud of the part the men and women of the ADF have played in helping the people of Aceh.

"Given the progress of the relief operations, the ADF is now able to commence withdrawing our emergency relief effort. Reconstruction is now under way by Indonesia and aid agencies."

During his visit General Cosgrove also met with General Ryamizard, TNI Chief of Army and attended the opening of an Army Community Development Centre at Lhoknga, Aceh. "The cooperation between the TNI and the ADF has been outstanding and this has been vital to the success of our deployment."

Following his visit to Aceh, General Cosgrove will pay a courtesy call on his Indonesian counterpart, General Sutarto, Commander-In-Chief of Indonesia's National Defense Forces, tomorrow in Jakarta. General Sutarto extended an invitation to General Cosgrove to visit Indonesia.

General Cosgrove will also meet with Indonesia's Minister for Defence and Defence staff at the Australian Embassy.

Vision will be fed to news networks at approximately 5am 23 February dependent on the availability and reliability of communication between Australia and Sumatra.

Still images will be available from 10am Wednesday 23 February tomorrow at http://www.defence.gov.au/optsunamiassist/gallery

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