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More on Australia Immigrants - 2001-09-05


Two senior Australian officials have arrived in Jakarta to press Indonesia to clamp down on the flow of asylum seekers passing through its poorly guarded waters.

Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock and Defense Minister Peter Reith did not speak to reporters upon arriving in the Indonesian capital today (Wednesday). They will be joined by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer Thursday for talks with Indonesian officials on the issue.

The visit to Jakarta comes on the heels of a diplomatic standoff over a Norwegian ship carrying more than 400 asylum seekers that was stranded near Australia's Christmas Island for more than a week. Australia refused to let the migrants in.

The Norwegian ship had rescued the refugees from a sinking Indonesian ferry August 26th.

The crisis was defused this week when New Zealand and the island of Nauru agreed to receive the refugees while their applications for political asylum are processed.

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