Jakarta is not disappointed Prime Minister Tony Abbott won't attend a Bali meeting that could have warmed relations with Indonesia, but it's unknown when another opportunity will come up.

Mr Abbott accepted Indonesia's invitation to attend the Open Government Partnership forum next week, which would have been an opportunity to mend fences after last year's spying furore.

But late on Friday his office canned the trip, and it's understood the decision was made because Australian authorities are in the process of turning an asylum seeker boat back to Java, a policy deeply unpopular in Indonesia.

Teuku Faizasyah, Indonesian presidential spokesman for foreign affairs, said he viewed Mr Abbott's decision as "notification he could not attend" rather than a "cancellation".

But he didn't know when a future opportunity to meet would arise.

"I think there's no disappointment from the Indonesian government," he said today.

"As for another event, I don't know because I think there's no agenda for a regional or global event chaired by Indonesia in the near future."

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa revealed the invitation to Mr Abbott on April 7.

At that time he said his talks with his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, over a code of conduct to normalise the relationship had taken a more positive trajectory.

Military, police and intelligence cooperation was frozen in November after Indonesia learned Australia's spy agency had been intercepting the mobile phone calls of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and his inner circle.

Labor is demanding to know why Mr Abbott cancelled the planned trip to Indonesia, accusing him of further straining the relationship with one of Australia's closest neighbours.

Mr Abbott's office has not confirmed why the visit was junked just days before the two leaders were expected to meet on the sidelines of the conference.

Shadow foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek is calling for answers.

"Rejecting this invitation at this late stage really does put extra strain on the relationship," she told reporters in Sydney today.

"It's very important that the Prime Minister discloses the reasons that he's really not going."

It's understood the trip was deemed too politically risky while Australian authorities were in the process of intercepting an asylum seeker vessel heading towards the mainland.

Turning back or towing an asylum seeker boat to Indonesia during the Prime Minister's visit could embarrass Dr Yudhoyono, sources say.

The Australian Greens said Mr Abbott's "cruel" asylum seeker policy had robbed Australia of a real chance to mend ties with Indonesia.

"That's the extent of the embarrassment that Tony Abbott is to Australia both domestically and internationally," Greens leader Christine Milne told reporters in Hobart.

"He's hoist on his own petard."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said there was nothing unusual or remarkable about the decision to cancel the trip, suggesting the impending budget was the reason.

"The Prime Minister is obviously very focused on his responsibilities here in Australia, 10 days out from our first budget," he told Sky News on Saturday.

Labor frontbencher Ed Husic rejected this explanation, accusing him of undermining Australia's foreign interests by snubbing Indonesia.

The West Australian

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