7 Jun 2006

Indonesia President and Australian PM to meet over Papua issue

7:50 pm on 7 June 2006

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Australia Prime Minister John Howard are to meet later this month in a bid to repair relations following the Papuan visa row.

The Age newspaper reports that the two leaders will meet on June the 26th on the Indonesian island of Batam.

It will be their first meeting since Indonesia reacted angrily to Canberra's decision to grant asylum to 42 Papuans in March.

An Indonesian government spokesman says Jakarta's ambassador to Australia, who was recalled in protest after the decision, will go back to Canberra.

Human rights groups accuse Jakarta of widespread abuses in Papua province, and the 42 who sought asylum said they feared becoming victims of genocide.

Jakarta denies such charges.