Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been executed by a firing squad in Indonesia on Tuesday. Issuing a joint statement here, Prime Minister Abbott and Foreign minister Julie Bishop said that the government had hoped that Indonesia would show mercy to these young men, who have worked hard since their arrests to rehabilitate themselves and improve the lives of other prisoners.

"Lengthy prison terms would have been an appropriate punishment," the statement said."Australia respects Indonesia's sovereignty, but deeply regrets that Indonesia could not extend the mercy it so often seeks for its own citizens," it said.

"We will withdraw our Ambassador for consultations once the men's bodies have been returned to the Chan and Sukumaran families. Ministerial visits will remain suspended," the statement said.

Bishop said she expected the ambassador Paul Grigson to return to Australia by the end of the week.Abbott, in an press conference, said that the executions were both "cruel and unnecessary".

"Australia respects the Indonesian system. We respect Indonesia's sovereignty but we do deplore what's been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our Ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations," Abbott said.

"I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia, but it has suffered as a result of what's been done over the last few hours," he said.

"Whatever people think of the death penalty, whatever people think of drug crime, the fact is that these two families have suffered an appalling tragedy and I'm sure that every Australian's thoughts and prayers will be with those families at this time," the Prime Minister said.

Abbott stressed that the move to withdraw Ambassador was very unusual and dubbed it as "unprecedented".

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