Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop Promises No More Spying Again on Indonesian Officials

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By Vittorio Hernandez | December 6, 2013 10:05 AM EST

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop promised on Thursday to Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa that Canberra would no longer spy again on Indonesian officials in the future.

The pledge was part of a six-point plan that Ms Bishop agreed to in a bid to repair its damaged relationship with the neighbouring country. To avoid future diplomatic impasses, the two nations would establish a hotline.

The six points drafted by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose mobile phone was wiretapped in 2009, must all be in place before Indonesia would restore police and military cooperation with Canberra, Mr Natalegawa insisted.

After Mr Natalegawa provides the president, who was in East Java on Thursday, with a more detailed report of his discussion with Ms Bishop, Mr Yudhoyono would decide if Jakarta is resident to move to step two of the roadmap, which is to draft the code of conduct.

Mr Natalegawa said, quoted by Skynews, "Essentially, the president expressed he was pleased that we were able to communicate today and he is pleased by the progress that has been made, and asked that further efforts be made (so) that we can address in full all the various bilateral issues that must be addressed."

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For her part, Ms Bishop said, "We note the steps set out by President Yudhoyono that must be taken in order to normalise the relationship and, of course, we agree to adhere to those steps ... Obviously we regret the events that led to this situation. We regret the hurt caused to President Yudhoyono and to the Indonesian people."

After the high-level talks between the two foreign ministers, Mr Natalegawa said Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema would return to his Canberra post at a time when it is in the best interest of Indonesia, stressing that "the ball is always on the Australian side, the steps are clear ... to rebuild mutual trust."

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