Australian PM Abbott accuses Indonesia of being 'singularly unhelpful'
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott rounded on neighbouring Indonesia on Sunday, accusing it of being "singularly unhelpful" by suspending cooperation to combat people-smuggling due to a diplomatic row over phone-tapping.
Mr Abbott called on Jakarta to resume collaboration on the stream of asylum-seekers transiting through the Southeast Asian nation, in critical remarks little more than a week after a fence-mending visit to Indonesia by his foreign minister.
Indonesia halted cooperation to stem people-smuggling last month after reports - based on leaks from intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden - that Australia had tried to bug the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and members of his inner circle in 2009.
The revelation sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the strategic allies in years, with Indonesia recalling its ambassador to Australia and suspending military and immigration collaboration.