Singapore has denied role in spy row: Indonesia

Singapore has denied role in spy row: Indonesia
Indonesia's Vice-Foreign Minister Mr Wardana.

SINGAPORE- Singapore has told the Indonesian ambassador that reports that it assisted Australia in electronic surveillance in the region are without foundation, said Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

South Korea made similar comments, he told reporters after a six-hour meeting with MPs yesterday to discuss remedial measures in the wake of revelations that Australia had tapped Indonesian leaders' mobile phones.

"We're going to manage this issue in a good way, but for that, we need information, we need clarification," he added.

He said that for Indonesia, "such extraterritorial surveillance" no longer had a place.

Thus, he said, Jakarta was seeking a code of conduct from Canberra in relation to this matter.

Last weekend, Dutch and Australian media carried reports alleging that Singapore and South Korea were working with "Five Eyes" intelligence partners, including the United States and Australia. Based on documents from US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the reports also said Australian and Singapore intelligence agencies were monitoring communications carried by major international undersea cables.

The reports came in the wake of disclosures that Australian intelligence had wiretapped the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and top officials, prompting Indonesia to suspend all military, police and intelligence exchanges with Australia and sparking protests in Jakarta.

On Tuesday, Dr Yudhoyono signalled a conditional thaw in ties. Yesterday, Dr Marty and his colleagues stressed that ties would resume fully only when Jakarta and Canberra reached agreement on a code of ethics.

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