Further to my post on Hermann Abs' role in sorting out the debt of both Germany and Indonesia, there is a small historical footnote on the Indonesian debt negotiations which demonstrates that there was once a much more positive relationship between Jakarta and Canberra.

Some of the Sukarno-debt creditors opposed Australia's participation in the 1966 debt meeting, as we had no debt with Indonesia outstanding (our small aid program had been in the form of grants). These creditors thought Australia would be ready – perhaps too ready — to argue for debt forgiveness. The case had to be made that, as a provider of aid to Indonesia, we didn't want to see our money used simply to pay back creditors. This argument was accepted and, as predicted, our delegation spoke strongly for a generous debt outcome. This was duly noted with gratitude by the Indonesian delegation.