Paul Grigson had been recalled from Indonesia for a little over a month
and his return is part of a move to restore relations with the country.
Australia’s ambassador has returned to Jakarta about one month after
he was recalled by the Abbott government in protest over the execution
of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Paul Grigson returned to the Indonesian capital on Monday, the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said on Tuesday.
The gesture is part of a move to improve relations with Indonesia after the executions and tensions over boat turnbacks.
Grigson was the first Australian ambassador to Indonesia to be
recalled, underlining the government’s concern about what the prime
minister, Tony Abbott, described as the “cruel and unnecessary”
Abbott also suspended ministerial visits over the executions. But it is not known when the top-level visits will resume.
In recent weeks Grigson has been involved in talks with the
government on how to restore Indonesia-Australian relations, which have
also been rocked by the policy of turning back asylum seeker boats.
Foreign policy analysts have suggested a good next step would be for
Australia to set up a maritime security information centre in Jakarta
and enter a new agreement on military and civilian agency ties.
Meanwhile, Indonesia has will send its ambassador, Nadjib Riphat
Kesoema, rather than a minister to regional counter-terrorism talks in
Australia amid continued tensions following the executions.
Six countries, including Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and New Zealand
will be represented by ministers at the two-day summit, to be launched
by Tony Abbott in Sydney on Thursday.
It comes, too, after defence minister, Kevin Andrews, did not hold a
bilateral meeting with his Indonesian counterpart at the recent
Shangri-La Dialogue, although both attended the Asian security summit in
Singapore at the end of May.
It is understood other Australian officials were not allowed to meet
Indonesian delegates at the conference either, while “time constraints”
prevented the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary, Peter
Varghese, meeting with his Indonesian counterpart.
This article originally appeared 9 June in The Guardian.