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Indonesia speaks out on boat people amid Australia tension

Published on Apr 21, 2014 2:50 PM
 
Residents helping a group of asylum-seeker survivors on the beach after being rescued by locals in the coastal village of Cianjur, located in Indonesia's western Java island on Sep 27, 2013. Jakarta called on governments on Monday, April 21, 2014, to stop "shifting responsibility" for asylum-seekers, in veiled criticism of Australia's hardline policy of towing boatloads of would-be refugees back to Indonesia. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - Jakarta called on governments on Monday to stop "shifting responsibility" for asylum-seekers, in veiled criticism of Australia's hardline policy of towing boatloads of would-be refugees back to Indonesia.

The military-led operation has caused anger in Indonesia, which has been forced to take back seven boatloads of asylum-seekers turned around by the Australian navy since December.

At the opening of an international meeting on asylum-seekers in Jakarta, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said countries should stand by commitments to cooperate on the issue made at a conference last year.

Those commitments "confirmed our shared responsibility - shared responsibility, not (the) shifting of responsibility. Shared responsibility that requires coordination and cooperation," Mr Natalegawa said at Monday's meeting.

 
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