New Australia PM Abbott in Indonesia for asylum-seeker talks
JAKARTA (AFP) - Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott begins a visit to Indonesia on Monday for talks on his tough refugee policies that have sparked anger in Jakarta, as his government also faced criticism over a deadly asylum boat accident.
Mr Abbott will meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta at the start of the two-day visit, having chosen the Indonesian capital for his first overseas trip as he seeks to bolster ties with Asia.
The visit comes amid rising tensions after his hardline policies aimed at stopping a flood of asylum-seeker boats that depart from Indonesia for Australia were criticised by officials in Jakarta.
Mr Abbott, who took power several weeks ago, campaigned on a "stop the boats" policy and has put into place a military-led operation known as Sovereign Borders, which involves turning boats around when it is safe to do so.