Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott waves as he boards a plane on his departure from Sydney on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Mr Abbott will attend the presidential inauguration of Joko Widodo in Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott waves as he boards a plane on his departure from Sydney on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Mr Abbott will attend the presidential inauguration of Joko Widodo in Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday. AAP Image - Paul Miller

President-elect warns PM to keep out of Indonesian waters

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott's "goodwill" visit to Jakarta was overshadowed by a blunt warning about Australian intrusions on Indonesian waters by the country's president-elect.

Ahead of his inauguration today, Joko Widodo said uninvited incursions by Australian navy ships would not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Mr Abbott flew to Jakarta yesterday to strengthen trade ties with Indonesia - a country he called "a hugely important neighbour".

"On present trends, Indonesia will be the fourth biggest economy in the world by mid-century," he said.

"Yet despite this, two-way trade with Indonesia is only $15 billion. In fact, our two-way trade with New Zealand, with just four million people, exceeds our current two-way trade with Indonesia and its 250 million people.

"This is why I have often said that our foreign policy needs a 'Jakarta' focus rather than a 'Geneva' one."

Mr Abbott made an unexpected stop-over at Papua New Guinea on his way to Indonesia to discuss the threat of Ebola and resettling asylum seekers with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

Mr Widodo replaces outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who has held the role since 2004.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek told a media conference Mr Abbott's claim Australia's fragile relationship with Indonesia had been mended following a recent spying scandal was untrue.

"I think it's very clear that President Joko Widodo is very concerned about the way the Australian Government has been making announcements about what's going to happen on Indonesian soil and Indonesian waters without ever having discussed it with the Indonesian Government, and is of course very concerned about the six or so incursions into Indonesian waters by Australian naval vessels in the last year or so," Ms Plibersek said.

Mr Abbott sang a different tune.

"(Mr Widodo) now takes office with enormous goodwill, in his own country and in ours," he said.



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