Australia and Indonesia talks further on Timor asylum center

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October 18, 2010 – Plans of putting up a refugee center in East Timor for those who are looking for an asylum all throughout Southeast Asia as they make their way to Australia is to be further discussed by Jakarta and Australia. This both countries have agreed upon on Wednesday.

Minister Chris Bowen of the Australian Immigration Minister, after meeting with Foreign Minister Marty Natelagawa, stated that Jakarta has agreed to send officials to further the discussion about the said plan. Minister Bowen stated further that Minister Natalegawa has agreed to send more officials for the development of the proposal. He also said that Minister Natalegawa understands how crucial having a processing centre is in terms of a broader regional framework.

Spokesman Teuku Faizsyah of the Indonesian foreign ministry said that the processing of the centre is still an idea. He stated further that they are willing to listen to the explanation of Australia. They were advised by their foreign affairs minister of the importance of the centre as part of the regional framework.

An agreement has already been made on Tuesday between East Timor and Australia to create a joint working group that will develop the processing of centre so as to provide shelter for those who are looking for one as they make their way to Australia.

Ramos-Horta was quick to dismiss news that their people are against the said proposal. He stated that the people are sure to agree once he have explained the humanitarian imperatives.

The proposal for a detention facility for migrants was an idea of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. This, she said, was due to the rising number of undocumented migrants arriving in Australian waters.

There are thousands of people every year seeking for an asylum who are heading through Southeast Asian countries as they make their way to Australia. Due to the long voyage, these people may possibly link up with human smugglers in Indonesia.

There were about 100 boats with over 4,00o people on it that was recorded this year. This has become a sensitive issue for the Prime Minister’s delicate Labor-led coalition.

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