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Relations with Indonesia sour

Australia’s decision to grant visas to West Papuan asylum seekers has further threatened its already delicate relationship with Indonesia. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono this week threatened to pull out of a joint crackdown on illegal immigrants. The row heated up when Australian authorities left the door open for more Papuans to seek asylum, with refugee advocates predicting more arrivals because the Australian Government acknowledged they could face persecution on their return. A nationally televised conference in Indonesia hosted a defiant Dr Yudhoyono, who said the Immigration Department visa decision was “incorrect, not realistic and unilateral."

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