Jakarta — Indonesia’s president slammed the Aussie prime minister’s comments over reports that Australia spied on his phone calls and those of his ministers, saying in a series of angry tweets that the PM “belittled” the row without any sense of remorse.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says Indonesia’s ties with Australia have been “damaged” by allegations and will lead to a review of cooperation agreements between the countries, according to reports.
Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia on Monday, and said it was summoning Australia’s ambassador for questioning.
The reports came via documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by broadcaster ABC and the Guardian newspaper.
Indonesia was already angry over reports leaked earlier this month by Snowden that Australia’s embassy in Jakarta was used as part of a U.S.-led spying network in Asia.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he regretted “any embarrassment” the reports had caused.
“I regard President Yudhoyono as a good friend of Australia, indeed as one of the very best friends that we have anywhere in the world,” he said.
In parliament on Monday, Mr Abbott had said: “The Australian government never comments on specific intelligence matters.”
“All governments gather information and all governments know that every other government gathers information,” he said.
“I will never say or do anything that might damage the strong relationship and the close co-operation that we have with Indonesia, which is all in all our most important relationship.”
But President Yudhoyono expressed “regret” at Mr. Abbott’s response, saying he had “belittled this tapping matter on Indonesia, without any remorse”.