SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday offered no apology and insisted relations with Indonesia remained close and strong despite spying allegations that sparked a furious reaction from Jakarta.
Indonesia on Monday recalled its ambassador from Canberra in response to reports that Australian intelligence agencies targeted the phone calls of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as well as his wife and senior ministers.
Jakarta said it was "flabbergasted" by the revelations in documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian newspaper, and vowed to review all cooperation with Australia.
Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema headed to the airport in Canberra on Tuesday and told reporters he does not know how long he will be kept out of the country.
"I think a good explanation will be the best way to ease the problem," he said.
Abbott refused to say if he planned to contact Yudhoyono directly to offer an explanation or an apology.
"I'm just not going to say anything or do anything that could possibly damage our close friendship and strong cooperation with Indonesia. I'm just not going to say anything about intelligence matters," he said.
"The truth is we have a very good relationship with Indonesia.
"Obviously, today may not be the best day in that relationship. But, nevertheless, we do have a very good and strong relationship with Indonesia."