CANBERRA, Australia – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has brushed off a media report that his telephone conversation with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last month was secretly recorded by a journalist.
The telephone conversation marked an improvement in a diplomatic furor sparked in November when media reported phone-tapping from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The reports said that Australia had listened in on the cell phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and eight Indonesian ministers and officials in 2009.
Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Tuesday that journalists had been allowed in the same room as Yudhoyono when he took Abbott's call last month. A journalist had published a transcript of the conversation in which the two leaders discussed demonstrating a new relationship between the two countries following the phone-tapping spat.