Australian Indonesia spy row: Media reaction

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the spying incident  is "hurtful" President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the spying incident is "hurtful"

Media in Indonesia and Australia feel the spying row has damaged diplomatic ties. Indonesia has recalled its ambassador to Australia over allegations Canberra spied on the president's phone. Indonesian papers say Canberra needs to apologise, while Australian media urge PM Tony Abbot to restore trust.


Editorial in Jakarta Globe

There is no doubt that if Australia wishes to limit the damage from the fallout of the spying scandal, it needs to apologise to the Indonesian government and the Indonesian people. We all know that spying is an old art and has been conducted for centuries. But there are limits to the extent "friendly" countries can go when it comes to eavesdropping. In tapping President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's and the first lady's personal phones, Australia has crossed the line.

Commentary in Jakarta Post

The argument that such tapping is normal practice is but an excuse, not a justification. The true inherent reason is that Australia is stuck in a mind-set of mistrust toward its northern neighbour. This may not be the final straw that breaks the camel's back, but it certainly exhausts it to a point that it needs time to heal before it can again bear any burden.

Report in Jakarta Post

Following a stand-off over boat people last week, relations between Indonesia and Australia took a nose-dive on Monday with Jakarta recalling its envoy to Canberra over allegations that an Australian spy agency attempted to bug the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono.

Reports in Republika Online

The paper highlights striking statements made by Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa. Both ministers say the spying row has seriously harmed bilateral ties between the neighbours.


Article in Sydney Morning Herald

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's furious and direct attack on the Australian prime minister shows just how deep the diplomatic schism between the two countries is, and how Tony Abbott has badly mishandled the crisis. Abbott has to date tried to respond with the classic defence when intelligence matters come into the public domain - obfuscation and platitudes.

Article in The Australian

Recalling its ambassador to Canberra represents a serious deterioration in the relationship and may well presage further real trouble, as more revelations from the rogue US consultant, Edward Snowden, are almost certain to follow.

Report in The Telegraph

Relations between the two countries have plunged into a deep chasm with Jakarta threatening to expel Australian diplomats from its capital.

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