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Jakarta Australian Embassy Bombing: Party Leaders React

In the midst of the federal election campaign, Australia’s political leaders reacted to the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

A bomb inside a delivery van exploded outside the embassy in South Jakarta at 10.30am local time. It killed 9 people and wounded around 150 others.

The nearby Greek embassy was gutted by the blast and damage to the Chinese embassy was also reported.

Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Mark Latham spoke about the bombings. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, held a joint press conference with the head of the Australian Federal Police, Mick Keelty. [Read more…]

John Howard Address At Bali Memorial Service

Prime Minister John Howard has spoken at the Bali Memorial Service, in honour of the victims of last year’s terrorist attack.

  • Listen to Howard (4m)

Transcript of address by Prime Minister John Howard at the Bali Memorial Service, Bali.

As we gather in these wonderful surroundings to mark that terrible event a year ago that inflicted such pain and suffering on people from many countries, our very first thoughts go to those who lost their loved ones on the 12th of October last year. Yours is a loss that can never be recovered, but it is a loss with the passage of time and the support and the love of your fellow countrymen and women can be made perhaps a little easier to bear. [Read more…]

Howard Gives Support To Indonesian Death Penalty For Amrozi

Prime Minister John Howard has welcomed the guilty verdict for Bali bomber Amrozi and says the government will not be making representations against the imposition of the death penalty.

Howard said recent events reminded Australians “that the fight against terrorism will be a long one”.

In relation to the death penalty, Howard said: “I respect the jurisdiction of the Indonesian court and I do not intend to make any representations that it not be carried out. If it’s the view of the Indonesian court that it be carried out, then it should be carried out.”

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s Sydney press conference.


Good evening. I’m sure that I speak for all Australians in welcoming the guilty verdict handed down by the court in Indonesia in relation to Amrozi’s role in the murder of 88 Australians amongst a total of 202 people at Bali in October last year. Most of all I hope that this verdict provides some sense of comfort to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy and that they feel that in some way justice has been done and at least one of the people responsible for what was described by one of the trial judges as a crime against humanity as well as a crime of murder, that in some way they have been properly brought to justice. [Read more…]

Australia And Asia: New Partnerships, New Directions – Speech by Simon Crean

Hard To Stand Tall When You’re Always On Your Knees: Crean

The Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, has delivered his first major speech on Australian foreign policy since assuming the Labor leadership late last year.

CreanIn the speech, Crean characterised the Howard government’s foreign policy as the “boastful swagger of the ‘deputy sheriff'” and argued that “for too long the Howard Government has behaved as though we have no choice in foreign policy.”

Crean said: “Australia needs a new plan for regional engagement. And we need to build a new partnership with the international community. This direction needs to be built around three important partnerships: a new partnership with China, stronger institutional partnerships in the region, and re-building our position as a good international citizen through better global partnerships.” [Read more…]

The U.S.-Australian Alliance in an East Asian Context: Speech By Peter Reith

This is the text of an address by Peter Reith, Minister for Defence, to the ANZUS Conference at the University of Sydney.

Speech by Defence Minister Peter Reith to ANZUS conference.

ReithIt is a great pleasure to ‘bounce the ball’ for the second half of this conference – although something of an invidious task: to reconvene our discussions first-up after last night’s dinner.

Our theme, I needn’t remind you, is the alliance between our two nations in its regional context. However, it is not a question of putting our alliance into this regional context; it is a matter of appreciating the extent to which our alliance is part of that context. [Read more…]