Australia Denies Rift with Indonesia

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  • Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop shakes hands with Indonesia Foreign Minster Marty Natalegawa, accompanied by Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan during a meeting at APEC Summit XXI 2013 in Nusa Dua, Bali on Friday (4/10). Tempo/Johannes P. Christo

    Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop shakes hands with Indonesia Foreign Minster Marty Natalegawa, accompanied by Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan during a meeting at APEC Summit XXI 2013 in Nusa Dua, Bali on Friday (4/10). Tempo/Johannes P. Christo

    TEMPO.CO, Sydney - Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denied a rift with Indonesia over spying allegation. She stated cooperation between both countries would be improved.

    "I don’t accept that there has been a rift," she told ABC television on Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to having a very productive conversation with Dr Natalegawa and other Indonesian ministers," she said. Minister Bishop is scheduled to be attending Bali Democracy Forum today.

    According to Bishop, she had a very fruitful discussion with Indonesian ministers on issues such as combating terrorism and people smuggling.

    "The bilateral cooperation that exists between our two countries in areas such as people-smuggling and counter-terrorism is of mutual benefit, of mutual advantage to both countries, and that will continue to be the case," she said.

    Canberra's relations with Indonesia comes under pressure after reports last week by Sydney Morning Herald stating Australian embassies in several countries, including Indonesia, were involved in intelligence operation. The problems intensified after a report quoting Edward Snowden, former contractor of US National Security Agency, that US and Australia had joint operation to snoop on Indonesia during 2007 UN climate talks in Bali.

    Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Indonesia, together with Germany and Brazil, will sponsor a draft resolution in UN General Assembly highlighting concern at US data snooping. Indonesia will also review its bilateral cooperation with Australia.

    CHANNEL NEWS ASIA | REUTERS NATALIA SANTI