Tue, Nov 26, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Indonesia halts cooperation on people-smuggling

STRAINING TIES:Accusations that Australia spied on Indonesian officials triggered anti-Australian protests in Jakarta last week and reportedly damaged commercial ties

Reuters, JAKARTA

Relations between Australia and Indonesia last hit a low in 1999 when Australia sent troops into East Timor to restore peace and subdue Jakarta-backed militias after Indonesia’s military pulled out of the former colony.

Ties with Jakarta have improved significantly since the two countries were drawn together in response to the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali, which killed more than 200 people, including 88 Australians.

However, relations have again turned increasingly prickly since Abbott took office in September, because of the spying reports and tension over the asylum seekers.

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