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January 19, 2014
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Australia vows no more intrusions in Indonesian waters

January 19, 2014

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SYDNEY: Australia on Saturday vowed there would be no further intrusions into Indonesian waters during its military-led crackdown on people-smuggling boats, after Jakarta demanded operations be suspended following repeated incursions.
Australia’s new conservative government, elected in September, has re-introduced a policy of turning back asylum-seeker boats, many of which depart from Indonesian ports, when it is safe to do so.
It admitted on Friday to several inadvertent intrusions into Indonesian waters as part of Operation Sovereign Borders, but said it was sticking to its policy designed to halt the arrival of asylum-seekers on unauthorised boats.
“We will not again see an inadvertent breach of Indonesia’s territorial waters, we’ve taken steps to ensure that that doesn’t happen again,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters in Perth on Saturday.
The incursions prompted a furious response from Jakarta, with Indonesia’s Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs saying they “constitute a serious matter in bilateral relations of the two countries”. Jakarta has demanded a suspension of operations and pledged to step up navy patrols along its southern maritime borders.
“We welcome cooperation from Indonesia in patrolling the waters where these people-smuggling boats are being launched,” Bishop said, when asked about the increased Indonesian patrols.

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