Indonesia hopeful diplomatic relations with Australia will improve

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The Indonesian government has welcomed the leadership change in Australia, saying it hopes diplomatic relations can improve under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.

During Tony Abbott’s time as leader a spying row, controversy over boat turn-backs and the execution of the Bali Nine duo saw Australia’s diplomatic relationship with Indonesia plummet to what many described as an all-time low.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s foreign ministry said the Indonesian government had congratulated Mr Turnbull and told him that it stood ready to work with the new Federal Government to continue to strengthen ties.

Evi Fitriani, the head of the International Relations Department at the University of Jakarta, said the leadership change provided an opportunity for renewal.

“Because of the personality of Malcolm Turnbull himself. I think he is a more sensible person who we can talk with,” she said.

Ms Fitriani said she believed Mr Abbott’s approach did not suit Indonesia’s style, and his language was too harsh.

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“Even though Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t made any statement about foreign policy yet … judging from his personality — judging from Abbott’s personality at least — we think we will deal more communicatively and maybe in a better situation and better environment with this kind of leader,” she said.

Endy Bayuni, a senior editor at the Jakarta Post, said it could be a positive change.

“Any change at this space will probably have a better chance of the two countries patching up their differences and actually at least start talking again,” he said.

“A change in the Australian leadership hopefully would make things better.”

People on the streets in Jakarta seem to agree a new Australian Prime Minister could turn things around.

“This is a good change. The new Prime Minister will create a good relationship with Indonesia,” one said.

“I hope it will be better. The last time Tony Abbott spoke of returning the tsunami aid. He was not a good leader,” another said.

Source : The abc News


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