Jakarta will dispatch a frigate to strengthen its southern defenses after Australian ships repeatedly violated territorial waters of Indonesia, Illawarra Mercury reported on 17 January.
Three Australian Navy ships and one Customs ship have crossed the 12-nautical-mile limit on a total of five occasions since December 13. One of the ships was heavily armed frigate HMAS Stuart, as reported by Fairfax Media.
The spokesman for the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Agus Barnas, said that after the Abbott government was compelled to excuse itself over the incidents, the Indonesian government defined the incursions as “a serious matter in bilateral relations”.
The Indonesian Government has the right to protect its territorial waters as well as sovereignty in accordance with international laws and the charter of the UN, the spokesman added.
Under the Operation Sovereign Borders, launched by the Abbot government, asylum- seekers from Indonesia are being intercepted at sea by Australian Naval Forces and turned back to Indonesia.
Naval Today Staff, January 20, 2014; Image: Wikimedia