11 March 2010

Australian immigration to fight people smuggling with Indonesia

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Australia and Indonesia have reached an agreement to increase efforts to combat people smuggling, following an increase in asylum seekers reaching Australia.

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Immigration officials from two countries will work together to stop people smuggling.

Australian immigration and Indonesian authorities will expand co-operation in fighting "transnational crime, including people smuggling," Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.

The Indonesian President made the announcement with Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at a press conference during a three-day visit to Australia.

The two leaders also agreed to boost cooperation in fighting extremism and Rudd congratulated Indonesia's efforts to dismantle terror networks after counter-terrorism forces on Tuesday discovered  a man believed to have been one of the masterminds of the 2002 Bali bombings during a raid in the capital Jakarta.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the immigration agreement would include disrupting people-smuggling rings.

"It does go to both operational matters and also to prevention and disruption and the organisational arrangements," Smith told the ABC.

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