Australia-Indonesia ties enter new era


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Interviewed by this newspaper, Mr Widodo described their communication as “effortless”. Indeed, the Australian leader is his “close friend”. Much of this derives from Mr Albanese’s visit to Indonesia last year, the prime minister’s first major bilateral visit abroad. Mr Albanese characterised discussions then as “heartfelt”. This language is no diplo-babble. It is significant because in the past there has been no shortage of ham-fisted statements from Australian leaders towards their counterparts in Jakarta, just as an Indonesian nationalist snarl towards Australia has often been bared teeth. In the 1950s, Australia refused to support Indonesian claims to West New Guinea...