Australia’s largest foreign mission is its embassy in Jakarta. That mission will soon be without an ambassador. Ministerial visits have also been suspended. With contact at the highest levels suspended how will it affect business and the thousands of travellers between the countries?
The Australian Government had hoped that “Indonesia would show mercy to the two young men, who have worked hard since their arrests to rehabilitate themselves and improve the lives of other prisoners,” according to a statement from the office of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time” Ms Bishop said.
Ms Bishop confirmed that Australia, “will withdraw our Ambassador for consultations once the men’s bodies have been returned to the Chan and Sukumaran families…Ministerial visits will remain suspended” said Ms Bishop.
DFAT nor the DIBP have provided any information on how these measures will specifically affect business or travellers between the countries. However, according to various analysts, Australia’s reaction which as serious as it seems, will not affect the daily operations of the Australian consulates in Indonesia. It does not mean diplomatic relations have ended as the rest of the consulate will continue to operate and provide services.
DFAT’s smartraveller.gov.au website advice is to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ on travel to Indonesia’ which is at the same overall level of advice prior to the announcement of the downgrading of diplomatic contact.
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