The Indonesian government has welcomed the leadership change in Australia, saying it hopes diplomatic relations can improve under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. During Tony Abbott’s time as leader a spying row, controversy over boat turn-backs and the execution of the Bali Nine duo saw Australia’s diplomatic relationship with Indonesia plummet to what many described as an all-time low.
A spokesman for Indonesia’s foreign ministry said the Indonesian government had congratulated Mr Turnbull and told him that it stood ready to work with the new Federal Government to continue to strengthen ties. Evi Fitriani, the head of the International Relations Department at the University of Jakarta, said the leadership change provided an opportunity for renewal. “Because of the personality of Malcolm Turnbull himself. I think he is a more sensible person who we can talk with,” she said. Ms Fitriani said she believed Mr Abbott’s approach did not suit Indonesia’s style, and his language was too harsh.