Indonesia has recalled its ambassador to Australia after a top-secret document revealed that Australian spy agencies attempted to listen in on the personal phone calls of Indonesia’s president.
New revelations by American whistleblower Edward Snowden showed that the Australian spy agencies targeted the mobile phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and senior ministers and confidants.
The Indonesian envoy was recalled on Monday, when Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters, “This is an unfriendly, unbecoming act between strategic partners,” in reference to the espionage activities of the Australian agencies.
“This isn’t a smart thing to do,” he stated, adding that it “hasn’t been a good day in the relationship between Indonesia and Australia.”
The documents leaked by Snowden to media showed that Australia’s Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) tracked the Indonesian president’s activities on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009.
Reports also revealed earlier this month that the United States and Australia launched joint spying operations against Indonesia during the 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali.
According to earlier reports, Australia’s overseas diplomatic posts, including the embassy in Jakarta, have also been involved in a vast US-led surveillance network spanning the globe.
Recent Snowden leaks have sparked global outrage. The documents detailed vast intelligence collection by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on 35 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany and Brazil are currently spearheading efforts to draft a United Nations General Assembly resolution to restrain the espionage activities directed against foreign leaders.
Snowden was granted political asylum in Russia on August 1 and has been charged in the United States with espionage and theft of government property.
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