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Indonesia voices anger at Australia alleged spying

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa delivers a statement in Jakarta on November 18, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Media outlets cited documents provided by Edward Snowden
  • Indonesia says Australia "needs to clarify"
  • Australian PM says "all governments gather information"

Indonesia summoned the Australian ambassador Monday to voice its anger at allegations that Australia tried to listen into the phone calls of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Greg Moriarty. Australia's ambassador to Indonesia, "took careful note of the issues raised and will report back to the Australian Government," the Australian embassy in Jakarta said.

Indonesia's objections stem from reports in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Guardian Australia that said Australian intelligence tracked Yudhoyono's mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, monitoring the calls he made and received.

The intelligence agency also tried to listen in on what was said on at least one occasion. But the call was less than a minute long and could not be successfully tapped, ABC reported.

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The two media outlets cited documents provided by Edward Snowden, the U.S. national security contractor turned leaker.

"The Australian Government urgently needs to clarify on this news, to avoid further damage," Indonesian presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah tweeted.

    "The damage has been done and now trust must be rebuilt," he said in another tweet.

    Asked in parliament to comment on the reports, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, "all governments gather information and all governments know that every other government gathers information."

    "The Australian Government never comments on specific intelligence matters," he added. "This has been the long tradition of governments of both political persuasions and I don't intend to change that today."

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