Following the executions of Bali 9 pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran by firing squad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Australia would be withdrawing its ambassador, Paul Grigson, in protest.
Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo labelled the move as a normal diplomatic response and noted that Brazil and the Netherlands had also recalled their ambassador following the executions on 18 January.
“It is the right of Australia,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told MetroTVnews.com. “The summons of ambassador for consultations is the right of the sending country.”
Marsudi said both countries have a mutual need of one another, are important partners, and that Indonesia did not need to be too worried about the withdrawal.
Abbott announced the move during a press conference in Canberra on Wednesday morning, just hours after the Bali 9 prisoners were put to death in Indonesia, saying: “These executions are both cruel and unnecessary”.
“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families, our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo told local media that Australia’s withdrawal will not affect Indonesia’s use of the death penalty.
“This is about our legal sovereignty,” he said.
Attorney-General Prasetyo said the executions were “carried out as humanely as possible”.
“I hope these executions will serve as a warning to the others thinking of trying to commit narcotic crimes to rethink,” he said.