Abbott cancels Indonesia trip, reportedly over asylum seeker turnback operation
Published on May 3, 2014 4:53 PM
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Saturday cancelled a trip to Indonesia amid reports that an asylum seeker turnback operation was underway that could renew tensions between the neighbours.
Mr Abbott's office confirmed he no longer intends to travel to Bali on Tuesday for a meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono but declined to go into the reasons for putting off the visit, which had been seen as a thawing of ties tested by recent rows over espionage and Australia's controversial refugee policies.
"The prime minister was hoping to attend the Open Government Partnership conference in Bali next week at the invitation of His Excellency President Yudhoyono. The prime minister is grateful for the invitation," a spokesman told AFP.
"Unfortunately the prime minister is unable to attend at this time and he hopes to visit Indonesia to meet with the president at a mutually convenient time."
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