16 Aug 2006

Indonesia disappointed with Australian immigration move

7:19 pm on 16 August 2006

Indonesia says it is bitterly disappointed with the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, after Canberra this week abandoned plans for tough new immigration laws.

The new laws, drawn up to ease Indonesian concerns after Australia granted asylum to 43 Papuans, would have sent all asylum seekers who arrived by boat on mainland Australia to detention camps in Nauru.

Jakarta signaled that Canberra's withdrawal of the new laws was feared to create new tension between Indonesia and Australia.

The Antara news agency quoted the Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Desra Percaya as saying the decision is disappointing.