Friday, 20 February 2015

Australian Prime Minister Abbott puts boot into delicate death row negotiations

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s use of aggressive megaphone diplomacy can only make matters worse for two Australian citizens on death row and their families back in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald 19 February 2015:

The Indonesian government has warned it does not respond to threats, after Prime Minister Tony Abbott reminded the country it had provided $1 billion in aid after the 2004 tsunami.

"Threats are not part of diplomatic language," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told reporters. "And from what I know no one responds well to threats."

Earlier Mr Abbott said Australia would let Indonesia know in "absolutely unambiguous terms that we feel grievously let down" if the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran proceeded.

"Let's not forget that a few years ago, when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami, Australia sent $1 billion worth of assistance, we sent a significant contingent of our armed forces to help in Indonesia with humanitarian relief and Australians lost their lives in that campaign to help Indonesia," he said.

Mr Nasir said there was  a saying in Indonesian "orang akan terlihat warna sebenarnya" (people will show their true colours).

"So I hope the statement (Mr Abbott) made doesn't show the true color of Australians.

Malay Mail Online 19 February 2015:

SYDNEY, Feb 19 — Prime Minister Tony Abbott today denied threatening Indonesia over the fate of two Australians on death row by linking their fate to aid, insisting he was simply pointing out the depth of ties between the neighbours.
As tensions mount in the bid to save Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Abbott yesterday said Jakarta should remember the significant monetary aid Canberra supplied in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami.
He urged Indonesia to reciprocate in Australia’s time of need, but the comments were coolly received in Jakarta with the foreign ministry warning that “threats are not part of diplomatic language”…..

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