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Indonesia says it has 'downgraded' relations with Australia following eavesdropping reports

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    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gestures during a press conference at Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Indonesia recalled its ambassador from Australia on Monday and ordered a review of bilateral cooperation following reports that Australian spies attempted to listen to his cellphone in 2009. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) (The Associated Press)

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    Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, right, speaks to journalists next to Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa after their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Indonesia recalled the ambassador from Australia following reports that Australian spies attempted to listen in on phone conversations of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other senior figures. Yudhoyono on Tuesday criticized Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for not expressing remorse over the alleged wiretapping of his phone, and said cooperation agreements between the near-neighbors would be reviewed. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) (The Associated Press)

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    Indonesia Chief State Intelligence Agency Marciano Norman speaks to journalists before a meeting with Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Palace in Jakarta, Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013. Indonesia recalled its ambassador from Australia after reports that an Australian security agency attempted to listen in on Yudhoyono's cellphone in 2009. Yudhoyono on Tuesday criticized Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for not expressing remorse over the alleged wiretapping of his phone, and said cooperation agreements between the near-neighbors would be reviewed. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) (The Associated Press)

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    Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, right, speaks to journalists next to Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, left, before a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013. Indonesia recalled the ambassador from Australia after reports that an Australian security agency attempted to listen in on Yudhoyono's cellphone in 2009. Yudhoyono on Tuesday criticized Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for not expressing remorse over the alleged wiretapping of his phone, and said cooperation agreements between the near-neighbors would be reviewed. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) (The Associated Press)

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    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, third from right in background, attends a meeting with Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, second from left in foreground, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, second from right, Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto, left, and Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi, right, at Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Indonesia recalled the ambassador from Australia after reports that an Australian security agency attempted to listen in on Yudhoyono's cellphone in 2009. Yudhoyono on Tuesday criticized Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for not expressing remorse over the alleged wiretapping of his phone, and said cooperation agreements between the near-neighbors would be reviewed. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim) (The Associated Press)

Indonesia has "downgraded" its relations with Australia and suspended cooperation on people smuggling following outrage over reported eavesdropping on senior Indonesian leaders' phones, officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Australia's Parliament that he would do everything he "reasonably can" to repair relations with Indonesia damaged by the wiretapping allegations.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. and The Guardian reported Monday that they had documents from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden showing that the top-secret Australian Signals Directorate targeted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's cellphone and the phones of first lady Kristiani Herawati and eight other government ministers and officials.

Indonesia's intelligence agency chief, Norman Marciano, told reporters Wednesday that he's been assured by Australian intelligence officials that the wiretapping has stopped and will not resume.

He spoke before attending a meeting called by Yudhoyono to discuss the issue with Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and Indonesia's recalled ambassador to Australia.

Natalegawa said that Indonesia was reviewing bilateral cooperation on issues with its neighbor.

"We have downgraded the level of relations between Indonesia and Australia," he said. "Like a faucet, it is turned down one by one."

Yudhoyono told a news conference after the meeting that he expected a formal explanation if Australia wants to maintain good bilateral relations.

"Clearly, I asked for temporary termination of cooperation on intelligence exchanges and information sharing, either on army, navy, air force or a combination," he said, adding that the snooping reminded him of the Cold War era.

The termination affects cooperation on the thorny issue of people smuggling between the two countries. Indonesia is a transit country for thousands of asylum seekers hoping to reach Australia's Christmas Island by boat. Many people have died while attempting the dangerous journey, and the immigration issue remains a political hot potato in Australia.

Abbott won elections in September on a promise to stop the asylum seeker boats and is relying on Indonesia's cooperation to achieve this goal. He has also ruled out an apology or explanation on the spying allegations.

On Tuesday, Yudhoyono criticized Abbott for not expressing regret over the spying, which reportedly took place in 2009 under a previous Australian government.

In the Australian capital of Canberra on Wednesday, Abbott told Parliament that while he would try to repair relations with Indonesia, he did not "propose to overreact now" to anger over the issue.

"I deeply and sincerely regret the embarrassment that media reports have caused President Yudhoyono, who is a very good friend of Australia, perhaps one of the very best friends that Australia has anywhere in the world," Abbott said. "I do understand how personally hurtful these allegations have been, these reports have been, for him and his family."

"My intention, notwithstanding the difficulties of these days, is to do everything I reasonably can to help to build and strengthen the relationship with Indonesia, which is so important to both our countries," he said.

But Abbott failed to directly answer a question asked by opposition leader Bill Shorten: What progress had been made to restore Australia's relationship with Indonesia?

Analysts describe the furor as the lowest point in an often volatile bilateral relationship since 1999, when Australia led a U.N. military force into the former Indonesian province of East Timor following a bloody independence ballot. At that time, Indonesia ripped up a 4-year-old security treaty with Australia. A new treaty has since been signed.

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McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia.