The Indonesian government on Monday postponed the signing of bird flu financial assistance from Australia in protest to the granting of temporary visas for 42 asylum seekers from Papua province.
"The postponement is triggered by Australian government's move to grant temporary visas for 42 Papuans," said Lalu Mara Satria Wangsa, a senior staff with the Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare.
Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie was slated to sign the 10 million Australian dollars assistance agreement with Australian Ambassador Bill Farmer earlier in the day.
The visa decision, Wangsa said, "really hurts the Indonesian people."
Wangsa added Aburizal had previously contacted the Australian Embassy about the postponement.