Envoy says Indonesia president too busy to hear Australian leader's plea for citizens' lives

An Indonesian envoy says that Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been too busy during the past three weeks to accept a phone call from the Australian prime minister to plead for the lives of two death row prisoners.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters on March 5 that he had requested a telephone conversation with Widodo to discuss the impending executions of Australian heroin traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Indonesian ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema on Thursday brushed off suggestions of a diplomatic snub over the lack of a call, telling reporters in the Australian capital Canberra that "the president was so busy" traveling to Indonesia's provinces.

Widodo wants the Australians to be among a group of 10 drug convicts to face firing squads soon.