Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa delivers a speech at his office in Jakarta January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Beawiharta
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Australia last month turned a boat carrying asylum-seekers back to Indonesia, the first time Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government has implemented a new immigration policy and further straining ties between the neighbours.The 47 asylum-seekers were found on Indonesia's southern-most point, Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara province, on Dec. 19 where their boat had run aground after being intercepted and turned back by the Australian navy, Indonesia's Antara news agency quoted police as saying. Ties hit a 13-year low late last year following media reports that Australia had tapped the phones of top Indonesians including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife.Asylum seekers hoping to reach Australia often transit through Indonesia.
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