News World Indonesia to mend rift with Australia

Indonesia to mend rift with Australia

Ms Bishop meets with Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson.
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Indonesia will look towards repairing its relationship with Australia following last week’s executions of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, a foreign ministry spokesman says.

In response to the executions, Australia last week announced the recall of its ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson, who departed Indonesia on Sunday.

His return was the endpoint of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s warnings that “there will be consequences” for the deaths of the two Australians, who were caught in 2005 for organising an attempt to import heroin to Australia from Bali.

Australia recalls ambassador in protest
Bali Nine diplomatic fallout begins
• Indonesia executes Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran

On Thursday Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said: “It is what it is.”

“We certainly now want to look ahead at how we can improve co-operation,” Mr Nasir said.

“As I have said on many occasions, the Indonesia and Australia relationship is an important partnership, not only for Indonesia, but I believe for Australia.

“That’s why we want to look ahead so that we can immediately go back to increasing co-operation in many fields, whether it be security, politics, economy and culture.”

Mr Nasir said Indonesia would not be concerned if Canberra cut aid to the country in next week’s Federal Budget.

“Indonesia at the moment is no longer a country that needs aid for development,” he said.

“Nevertheless, any aid given by Australia is their effort to increase, to strengthen our partnership.

“And so, it’s their right to give, but Indonesia is not asking.”

Mr Grigson left Jakarta directly for consultations with Ms Bishop on the consequences for the relationship in the short, medium and long term.

The recall was a signal that Australia was “very displeased and dismayed” that Indonesia did not respond to calls for clemency for Chan and Sukumaran, Ms Bishop said.

While Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the deaths of the two men as “cruel and unnecessary”, he also said the “dark moment” would not prevent the restoration of the relationship between Australian and Indonesia.

with AAP

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