News National Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to mend Indonesian spy rift

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to mend Indonesian spy rift

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Australia will pledge never to use its spy agencies in ways that could harm Indonesia’s interests when the two countries sign a new code of conduct.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will travel to Bali on Wednesday for talks with her Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa. The pair will ink the new code of conduct which Indonesia demanded after spying revelations last year.

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Indonesia suspended intelligence, military and police co-operation in November after the revelations Australia spied on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and top officials in 2009.

Dr Yudhoyono is expected to witness the signing of the document, which Ms Bishop calls a “joint understanding”.

“This specifically says Australia and Indonesia will not use our resources, including our intelligence resources, to harm each other’s interests,” Ms Bishop told ABC radio.

“It also lays the ground for greater co-operation between our intelligence agencies.”

She says the new agreement enhances rather than limits Australia’s ability to counter the increasing terrorist threat in Indonesia.

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