Indonesia to raise Australian asylum seeker policy with United States

February 15, 2014

Marty Natalegawa and Julie Bishop

Marty Natalegawa and Julie Bishop

Indonesia says it will raise the Abbott Government’s asylum seeker policy with the United States during official talks next week.

Jakarta has stepped up its protest to the Coalition’s boat turn-back policy, calling in the Australian ambassador in Jakarta for a meeting with a senior official.

Indonesia’s foreign affairs minister Marty Natalegawa says a strong protest message was given to Australian ambassador Greg Moriarty over the use of lifeboats to send asylum seekers back.

Dr Natalegawa says Australia was already violating its international commitments, but the use of lifeboats to send people back is an escalation.

“What Australia has been doing is a bigger development than before,” he said.

“In the past when they have turned back the boats, or pulled the refugee boats back to Indonesia, that alone is a violation against their international commitment under the Refugee Convention.

“But this time it has escalated.”

 

Dr Natalegawa told reporters Indonesia does what it can to stop boats leaving the country and that Australia’s actions are “against the values of humanity”.

He says he will inform US secretary of state John Kerry – who will visit Jakarta next week – about Australia’s actions and let officials draw their own conclusions.

“There is no need to ask; we only need to inform it, and let America draw its own conclusion,” he said.

Dr Natalegawa says he will discuss Australia’s policy with other countries as well.

Read More: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-14/australias-ambassador-in-jakarta-summoned-by-indonesian-governm/5261466

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Filed under Asylum Policy, Asylum Seekers in Indonesia

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