Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

24 March 2008

Comment on Abu Bakar Bashir

The reported comments by Abu Bakar Bashir are consistent with his well-known views and nothing more than his familiar bigotry.

I condemn these views absolutely.

As Abu Bakar Bashir’s views have been condemned previously by the Australian Government, I condemn them again today and will continue to do so.

Indonesian authorities continue to pay close and careful attention whenever comments such as these suggest threats to Australians and other foreigners.

Cooperation on counter-terrorism between Australia and Indonesia is ongoing and remains strong.

On 7 February, Indonesian Foreign Minister Wirajuda and I agreed to extend our bilateral counter terrorism Memorandum of Understanding for another three years.

We also reached agreement to hold a round of bilateral counter-terrorism consultations this year to underpin and enhance our counter-terrorism cooperation in association with the Lombok Treaty.

The Indonesian Government has been vigilant in dealing with the threat of terrorism.  Its success in countering terrorism can be seen by the successful conviction of over 180 people for their roles in terrorist attacks since 2000.

Australians planning to travel to Indonesia should consult the travel advice posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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