Six Corrective Steps on Wire-Tapping Case in Progress: Minister

JAKARTA ~

Marty Natalegawa, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister, will ensure that the government follows the six road-map steps in handling the wiretapping case by the Australian intelligence.

“We will carry out the six continuation steps, as announced by the president on November 26, to begin the matter’s settlement process,” confirmed Marty during the meeting in the House of Representatives in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Marty stated that there are plans for the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to come to Indonesia to settle the matter, but the exact date and time remain uncertain.

“I think the plan will be carried out this week. She might be here tomorrow or the day after. We are still awaiting confirmation,” added Marty.

The foreign affairs minister said that the meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is the first of six steps outlined by the President earlier.

Indonesia is currently awaiting an explanation from the Australian government regarding the problems faced by a number of Indonesian representatives after the wiretapping issue surfaced.

“I think now that this is the Australian government’s decision, they should take steps to correct all those things that have happened. We are now waiting for their explanation of whatever occurred and their attitudes in responding to the case,” affirmed Marty.

The new ministry will carry out the next step of the road-map after receiving the expected explanation from the Australian government on the wiretapping case.

“If I have no explanation from their side (Australia), we can consider moving on to the next stage: the Indonesian and Australian relations code of conduct compilation,” added Marty.

Earlier, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had developed a road-map with six steps to restore ties with Australia after the wiretapping of the phone lines of the president, the first lady and several other senior state officials was revealed.

The first roadmap step to be taken is to commission the Minister of Foreign Affairs or a special envoy to discuss at length sensitive issues related to the Indonesia-Australia relations post-withdrawal.

Second, after a Memorandum of Understanding is drawn up and a consensus from both sides is reached, a thorough discussion of the protocol and code of conduct is expected to follow.

Third, President Yudhoyono will examine the draft protocol and code of ethics to ensure that the code is good enough and adequately responds to Indonesia’s concerns in the aftermath of the wiretapping case.

Fourth, once the protocol and the code are prepared, they can be authenticated in the presence of government leaders, with President Yudhoyono and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in attendance.

Fifth, the two countries will prove that the protocol and the code have met the requirements and been implemented.

Sixth, after the two countries, particularly Indonesia, have restored trust and the protocol as well as the code of conduct has actually been implemented, the bilateral cooperation that brings mutual benefits, including military and police cooperation between the two countries, can be extended.

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