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Australian Current Affairs

Indonesia won’t agree to Australian plan to turn back asylum boats


Australia Asylum SeekersIndonesia’s ambassador to Australia has ruled out agreeing to the coalition’s boat turnback policy, declaring no such collaboration will occur.

Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema said Indonesia would welcome Tony Abbott or whoever leads Australia after the September election.

But he said asylum seeker boats should be turned back to other countries, not to Indonesia.

“Indonesia is a transit country and also the victim of this situation. I think it’s not possible for the coalition to say that it has to go back to Indonesia because Indonesia is not the origin country of these people,” he said.

“No such collaboration will happen between Indonesia and Australia (to) bring back the people to Indonesia.”

The opposition has long promised to end the flood of asylum seeker arrivals with its three-strand policy of offshore processing of asylum seekers, reintroducing temporary protection visas and turning back asylum seeker boats.

Although the coalition policy has been on the table for a number of years, Mr Kesoema said it had never been discussed with Indonesia.

“I don’t think that this issue will be aired by Mr Abbott,” he said.

In an address to the University of Canberra National Security Institute, Mr Kesoema acknowledged people smuggling was a major problem for Indonesia.

He said it was important for Indonesia and Australia to work together to raise awareness among Indonesian people about the dangers of becoming involved in people smuggling.

“This is not only the problem of the government, this is not only the problem of Australia, this is not only the problem of Indonesia, this is the problem of all,” he said.

Source: The Telegraph – Indonesia won’t agree to coalition policy to turn asylum seeker boats around, ambassador says
 
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