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Australia's new PM makes maiden trip to Indonesia

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September 29, 2013 11:29 PM EST | AP


JAKARTA, Indonesia — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is on his way to Indonesia for his first trip abroad since taking office, a two-day visit that increasingly looks like it will be dominated by immigration issues.

Abbott arrives Monday, three days after a boat packed with asylum seekers and bound for Australia sunk in Indonesian waters, killing 29 and leaving dozens more missing.

Abbott is under pressure at home to stem the flood of asylum seekers from war-torn countries who have been attempting the dangerous journey in recent years.

Indonesia has expressed concern over Abbott's "tow-back" plan, which involves the Australian navy intercepting and forcing back Indonesian fishing boats crowded with asylum seekers.

Abbott is expected to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday.