CANBERRA, Australia — The Australian ambassador to Indonesia has returned in a sign that the anger and tense relations that followed Indonesia's execution of two Australian drug traffickers has eased.
Paul Grigson in April became the first Australian ambassador to be recalled from Indonesia in protest after Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were among eight drug convicts executed by Indonesian firing squads.
Grigson returned on Monday after a five-week absence because he had been gone for an appropriate time, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday.
"Our relations with Indonesia are strong and getting stronger. Obviously there was some stress as a result of the execution of two of our citizens and obviously we made the strongest possible representations at the time," Abbott told reporters.
"We thought that those executions were unnecessary and counterproductive, but we also made it crystal clear at the time that we weren't going to let this permanently damage what is a very good friendship and a very important relationship," he added.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said ministerial visits to Indonesia which were suspended after the executions had not yet been resumed.