Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: We're Not Saying Sorry For Spying

 Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during a joint news conference as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looks on at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on September 30, 2013. Getty/Oscar Siagian

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected calls for an apology after it was revealed Australia listened to the Indonesian president’s mobile phone.

Indonesia has recalled its ambassador after the claims were published yesterday by The Guardian and The ABC. The country’s politicians are also said to be considering the position of Australian diplomats stationed there.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on the prime minister to explain Australia’s intelligence gathering and to apologise. It was also revealed the president’s wife, confidants and other senior politicians were targeted.

Abbott rejected this in parliament today, according to The ABC, saying every government gathers intelligence and that it was in the national interest.

“I don’t believe that Australia should be expected to apologise for reasonable intelligence gathering operations, just as I don’t expect other countries or other Governments to apologise for their reasonable intelligence gathering operations.”

Yudhoyono made his first public comment on the spy claims in a tweet , saying Australia and Indonesia’s relationship had been damaged.

Ties between the two had already been strained by earlier reports Australia’s Jakarta embassy was used as a listening post. The countries are also at odds over asylum seeker policy.

There’s more here.

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