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    Australia's FM and Indonesian President Meet Ahead of Bali Conference


    by NTDTelevision

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    Australia's foreign minister meets with Indonesia's president ahead of a regional ministerial conference in Bali. The conference will address the issue of asylum seekers using Indonesia as a marshaling point prior to embarking for Australia.

    Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd met with Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta on Tuesday.

    The meeting takes place ahead of a regional ministerial conference to be held in Bali starting Wednesday.

    Yudhoyono spoke with Rudd and the Australian delegation at his office.

    [Tengku Faizasyah, Indonesian Presidential Spokesperson]:
    "There was a very long meeting and discussion focused on the issue of Indonesia as ASEAN chair."

    The Bali Regional Ministerial Conference is co-chaired by the governments of Indonesia and Australia. It will address the challenge of people smuggling and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Australia receives many boats that leave from Indonesia with hundreds of asylum seekers, mainly from war-ravaged countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

    In 2010, Yudhoyono visited Australia and met with Rudd, who was prime minister at the time.

    Back then they agreed to work together to slow the influx of asylum seekers using Indonesian ports as a jumping-off point for Australia.