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Fatal attraction: Is our relationship with Indonesia worth the trouble?

Robison, R. Fatal attraction: Is our relationship with Indonesia worth the trouble? The Conversation .

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The decision by the Australian government to turn asylum seeker boats back into Indonesia’s territorial waters and its ports was always a high-risk game. It is no surprise that it has ended in a serious confrontation with Indonesia, particularly following the admissions that Australian naval vessels have made incursions into Indonesian territorial waters.

Indonesia retaliated with some heavy rhetoric from foreign minister Marty Natalegawa and other officials, and dispatched its own naval vessels to the areas where incursions have taken place. Indonesia’s media have been full of these events, together with the recent spying scandals. Frantic telephone calls and requests for meetings by Australian ministers have drawn cold responses from their Indonesian counterparts.

This may be a simple case of huffing and puffing. But coming hard on the heels of the acrimonious exchanges over spying by Australia’s intelligence agencies, it would seem that the relationship between the two countries is in for a rough ride.

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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