Jakarta – Indonesia said today it had not received an official notification about the withdrawal of Australia’s ambassador in response to the executions of Australian drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, but was “not too worried” about long-term ties.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that it would withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations once the bodies of Chan and Sukumaran, who were executed on Nusakambangan penal island earlier today, had been returned to their families.
“If it’s true it’s within their rights. Australia is an important country and we also believe they see us as important too,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir.
He said Jakarta would continue to maintain good relations with Canberra and played down the impact of any cut in Australia’s aid to Indonesia.
Australia gives Indonesia about 600 million dollars in aid annually and has not ruled out reducing the aid budget in response to the executions.
“Indonesia has never asked for aid from Australia. It’s their initiative to give it,” he said. “We are a country with a large economy.”