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27 Nov, 2013

Indonesia demands code of ethics for Australia relations


Jakarta (ANTARA News) November 26 2013 – Indonesia has demanded a protocol and a code of ethics for future cooperation with Australia following recent revelations of Australian spying in the country.

“To me, this must be a prerequisite and, at the same time, a stepping stone for bilateral relations. I have already proposed it to the Australian Prime Minister and he has agreed,” President Yudhoyono said after a meeting at his office here on Tuesday evening.

President Yudhoyono added that he would assign Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa or a special envoy to discuss in detail highly sensitive issues in bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia following the spying allegations.

“After mutual agreement and understanding is reached, I hope there will be comprehensive and thorough discussions on establishing a protocol and a code of ethics,” he noted.

He said he would monitor the formulation of the protocol and code of ethics himself to ensure they met Indonesias expectations before they are signed by the respective governments. “I would like them to be signed by government leaders in the presence of both heads of state (Australian Prime Minister and Indonesian President),” he added.

President Yudhoyono urged both nations to monitor the implementation of the protocol and code of ethics once they are created. He said there is a need to ensure implementation to restore Indonesia’s confidence in Australia again.

Last week, President Yudhoyono had sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott asking for an explanation over the alleged tapping by Australian intelligence agencies of the cellphones of Indonesian officials, including those of President Yudhoyono, Vice President Boediono, former Vice President Jusuf Kalla and first lady Any Yudhoyono.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent a reply, which, according to President Yudhoyono, contained three important messages: Australia wanted to preserve and continue bilateral relations; it promised to never undertake any action in future that could harm relations with Indonesia; and it supported President Yudhoyonos decision to review some bilateral cooperation agreements, including on intelligence exchanges, and to establish a clear and effective protocol and code of ethics.

“The second message is the important part,” President Yudhoyono pointed out.

The meeting was attended by Vice President Boediono and Coordinating Minister for political, security and legal affairs Djoko Suyanto.