Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia returned to Jakarta on Tuesday, more than a month after he was recalled over the execution of the Bali Nine duo, according to local media reports. Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed by Indonesia on April 29 for drug trafficking, a deeply contentious move that provoked diplomatic condemnation from Australia.
In response, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott withdrew Ambassador Paul Grigson over what he called a “cruel and unnecessary” punishment. High-level ministerial visits to the Southeast Asian nation were also suspended.
Grigson’s recall was the first instance of Canberra withdrawing its ambassador to Indonesia. In recent weeks, he has been in talks with Australian officials over how to restore relations between the two countries, according to the Australian.
A spokeswoman for Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed that Grigson had returned to Indonesia on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Also on Tuesday, Indonesia snubbed Australia by announcing that it would send an ambassador instead of a ministerial representative for a high-level regional security summit to be held later in the week in Sydney.
Foreign policy analysts recommended that Australia look into setting up a counterterrorism center in Jakarta to coordinate its response to regional threats, the Australian reported.
The events come shortly after Australian Defense Minister Kevin Andrews did not hold a bilateral meeting with his Indonesian counterpart at the Shangri-La dialogue at the end of May in Singapore.
In 2013, Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia in protest over revelations that Australian spies had attempted to tap the communications of former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife. He returned after six months.