An October 8, 2005, article in The Weekend Australian suggests that one of the unexpected consequences of the October 1, 2005, bombing attack on three Bali dining venues is a growing sense of mutual admiration and appreciation between Jakarta and Canberra.
The article - "New Bali Bombings Bring Neighbors Closer Together" details a private visit by Australian Federal Health minister Tony Abbott to Bali on dates that coincided with the October 1st bombing and serve as the departure point for demonstrating the increasingly cordial feelings Australians feel for Bali, the oversea holiday destination of choice for most folks from "down under."
Suggesting that the current dip in arrivals is most likely to be a temporary phenomenon, the article points out: "It is not to trivialize the suffering of those caught in terrorist outrages to point out that the statistical likelihood of getting caught up in such violence is very slight. There were perhaps 7,000 Australians in Bali on the night that four, tragically, were murdered. Something not far short of 200,000 Australians altogether may visit Bali this year, 1 per cent of our population."
The article, published before last week's visit to Indonesia by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, correctly predicted the number of bilateral agreements that visit precipitated towards enhancing security and overall cooperation between the two neighbors.
Speaking from one of Australia's most respected newspapers, the article underlined the fact that Canberra has cast itself as one of Indonesia's leading advocates and lobbyists, arguing for the world to take an active interest in the ongoing democratization process now underway in Indonesia.
Recent terror attacks on Bali, when seen within the context of the existing friendship between Australia and Indonesia, have the unexpected result of fostering even closer relationships and a firmer joint resolve to reign victorious in the ongoing war against international terror.
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