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Indonesia, Australia sign Code of Conduct agreement to end spying row

Published on Aug 28, 2014 3:25 PM
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre) looks on as Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (left) shakes hands with her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa, after they signed an agreement to draw a line under a damaging espionage row, in Bali on Aug 28, 2014 . The agreement will pave the way for a resumption of full cooperation between the two countries. -- PHOTO: AFP

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AFP) - Indonesia and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at drawing a line under a damaging espionage row and paving the way for the resumption of full cooperation on issues such as defence.

Ties between the neighbours sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle. Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.

Dr Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behaviour and, after months of talks on the issue, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on Thursday signed an agreement.

With Dr Yudhoyono looking on, the pair inked the deal, named the "Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia", at a ceremony on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

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