Another asylum boat intercepted

December 05, 2013

Another asylum vessel has arrived on Christmas Island – the third to make it to Australia since Indonesia said it would end all cooperation on people smuggling.

Officials on Christmas Island say a vessel carrying about 60 people was intercepted last night.

The passengers have been transferred at sea to a larger border protection vessel.

The vessel is the second to arrive this week. Another carrying about 30 passengers was intercepted off Christmas Island on Sunday.

Julie Bishop is in Indonesia today to hold talks with her counterpart Marty Natalegawa as part of major diplomatic effort to repair relations with Jakarta in the wake of the Presidential spying row.

The Indonesian President has made plain his fury at revelations Australian spies bugged his phone and the handsets of his wife and inner circle.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono decreed that all cooperation with Australia on border security matters was on hold until Tony Abbott agreed to a new code of conduct to govern relations.

Military and trade relations between Australia and Indonesia are also under a cloud.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has declared the Government was getting the upper hand over people smugglers, pointing to the drop in numbers of boat arrivals since the Coalition came to power.

But the Government does not look to have managed to turn back any asylum vessels to Indonesia – despite promising it would during the election campaign.



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