Indonesia and Australia are working hard to improve their diplomatic ties at the behest of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, following claims that Australian intelligence agents tapped the phones of Indonesian leaders to gather information.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa on April 22 met with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop to discuss the restoration of ties between the two countries by crafting a draft memorandum of understanding and a code of conduct.

The documents, which will provide clear guidelines on acceptable behaviour in their partnership, are seen as the second step of President Yudhoyono’s six-step roadmap to improving the relations between the two countries in the wake of the scandal which saw the phone of the President himself monitored.

The first step was realised through meetings of the foreign ministers and special envoys to discuss sensitive issues in the bilateral ties.

Meeting with the media after the talks, Minister Natalegawa revealed that the fundamental principle of the Indonesia-Australia diplomatic ties is the Lombok Treaty – an agreement on a security cooperation framework which states that spying activities that could harm national interests are not permitted.

Natalegawa said Indonesia and Australia will establish ways to implement those commitments by organising regular meetings between foreign ministers and intelligence officials.-VNA