So, a day or two ago we were advised that Australia was one of 47 countries that were being added to Indonesia’s visa exemption list in October? People seemed pretty excited about it but suprise, suprise…it won’t be happening.
While the Indonesian government said it is still willing to scrap the visa fees for folks from the Land Down Under, it would only do so if the Australian government reciprocated by granting Indonesian citizens visa-free entry to Oz as well.
But according to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, that isn’t happening. Not for Indonesia or any other country.
Bishop had a breakfast meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Sydney this morning, where they discussed the visa issue, amongst many others.
“She explained that Indonesia would love to provide Australia with visa exemptions, but unless they got reciprocity, they wouldn’t be able to do so,” Bishop said, as quoted by AAP.
Putting the kibosh on many an Aussies’ dream of visa-free visits to Bali, Bishop said, “Our policy is across the board – there are no exemptions.”
The question we have is, why is Indonesia so insistent on getting reciprocity from Australia on visa exemptions? It is precisely the same reason the Indonesian government has cited in the past for denying Australians visa free entry after teasing the possiblity. But Indonesia has recently granted exemptions to plenty of countries that still require Indonesian citizens to get expensive and difficult to obtain visas to travel to their shores, such as the United States.
It appears relations between our two favourite lands aren’t as friendly as we would like them to be.
Partial Source – Coconuts