Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

Australia's gone too far spying on Indonesia's shrimp trade talks with US: Marty

Published on Feb 17, 2014 4:04 PM
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) talks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa at the Foreign Ministry office before a meeting in Jakarta on February 17, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia described reports that Australia had listened in on government trade discussions with lawyers as mind-boggling, saying that to contend they had anything to do with security was going too far.

Often prickly relations have hit a new low since Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott took office last September, with Jakarta furious at reports that Australia wiretapped the phones of top Indonesian officials including the president and his wife.

"To suggest that the future of shrimp exports by Indonesia to the United States has an impact on Australian security is a little too much and begs some serious questions as to what it's all about," Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jakarta.

"In our view, neighbours like Indonesia and Australia should be looking out for each other, not turning against each other."

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!