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    Australia, Indonesia to Normalize Military, Intelligence Relations After Spying Scandal

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    Australian and Indonesian authorities will resume military, border and intelligence cooperation following a recent surveillance scandal, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news reported, quoting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Australian and Indonesian authorities will resume military, border and intelligence cooperation following a recent surveillance scandal, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news reported, quoting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday.

    "We have reached agreement on the joint understanding and we are currently arranging a time to sign it," Bishop told ABC.

    Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott, Australian prime minister, will visit Indonesia to meet with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in order to sign a “Joint Understanding of a Code of Conduct” agreement.

    The document includes Canberra’s commitment not to use intelligence resources to damage Jakarta’s interests, Sydney Morning Herald reported.

    Relations between the countries have deteriorated since November, after the revelations by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden concerning the use of Australian diplomatic missions in Indonesia to gather intelligence and to tap the telephones of, particularly, President Yudhoyono and his wife.

    The data was supposed to be shared with the United States as part of the “five eyes” intelligence alliance. The Indonesian foreign minister has called in the US and Australian ambassadors to explain themselves, and Jakarta has seen mass protests over the hidden data gathering activities.

    Indonesia also suspended military and law enforcement cooperation with Canberra, including measures against illegal immigration to Australia. Snowden has presumably gained access to from 15,000 to 20,000 top-secret Australian intelligence files.

    Tags:
    surveillance, cooperation, Tony Abbott, Indonesia
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