9 Jun 2006

Indonesia's ambassador to Australia to return

5:07 pm on 9 June 2006

Indonesia says its ambassador to Australia, who was recalled during a dispute over Canberra's decision to grant dozens of Papuans asylum in March, will return to his post this weekend.

The diplomat was withdrawn after Australia's decided to give temporary protection visas to the boatpeople who claimed they suffered persecution at the hand of Indonesian authorities.

An Indonesian foreign affairs spokesperson says the envoy will be back in Canberra to prepare a meeting later this month between the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

Australia is expected to reinforce its support of Indonesia's territorial sovereignty over Papua province.

One of 43 asylumseekers is still being held on Christmas Island amid Australian hopes that he can be sent to Japan because his mother has Japanese citizenship.

A further three Papuans are reportedly still being held on a Queensland island.