Prime Minister Tony Abbott has played down claims that he sledged Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during a recent encounter.
According to television footage taken by Channel 9, Mr Abbott approached the Indonesian President and told him to “get ready for a f**king broken arm”.
Mr Abbott has insisted that he did not overstep the mark.
“There is always banter, especially between Australia and Indonesia,” said Mr Abbott. “I copped as much as I give, that’s for sure.”
Tellingly Mr Abbott did not deny using the words with Mr Yudhoyono.
“I am not going to go in to what was said. It is part and parcel of international relations. I still believe there is a very good mutual respect between the two countries. I have the utmost respect for Indonesia.”
Mr Abbott has also played down any comparisons between his sledging and that of Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke.
“I’d like to think that, unlike Michael Clarke, I’m actually prepared to carry my threats of physical violence through.”
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