Indonesia is officially “downgrading” its relations with Australia in response to reports of the country’s President being spied on by Canberra.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced the decision in a televised address on Wednesday, saying, “It’s clear that this is a logical step Indonesia must take.”
“The downgrading in the level of the Indonesian-Australian relationship has been done,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said, adding, “We have already adjusted various forms of cooperation. We are turning off the tap by degrees.”
The foreign minister went on to explain that the downgrade includes suspension of agreements on the arrest of people smugglers, exchange of information and military cooperation.
This is while Australian officials have yet to react to the decision.
On Monday, The Guardian revealed a top-secret document from American whistleblower Edward Snowden that Australia’s spy agencies had attempted to listen to the personal phone calls of Indonesia’s president, as well as those of his wife and senior ministers and confidants.
Jakarta immediately recalled its ambassador from Canberra after the emergence and announced it would be summoning Australia’s envoy for questioning.
On Tuesday, the Indonesian President deplored Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s refusal to offer an apology over the issue.
Abbott had earlier regretted “any embarrassment” caused by the spying reports, though he did not accept to apologize or explain.
“Australia should not be expected to apologize for the steps we take to protect our country,” Australian premier said.
Earlier this month, Jakarta expressed anger over reports that the United States and Australia have launched joint spying operations against Indonesia during the 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali.