Tony Abbott will not give any detail about his meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono but says it is ''simply wrong'' to suggest that the Coalition did not discuss its people smuggling policies with the Indonesians.
Mr Abbott said that a lower level meeting involving Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa "went into considerable detail" on the Opposition's policies.
''I think the Indonesians now have a very clear understanding of what our position is,'' he said.
Yesterday, while in India, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Mr Abbott had taken a ''cowardly approach,'' following reports he did not discuss his controversial turn the boats back policy in a meeting with the Indonesian President.
She told reporters in Delhi that Mr Abbott was ''peddling a myth to the Australian people. He knows the Indonesian government will not agree to facilitate tow-backs and he's trying not to be exposed as telling the Australian people something that can't and won't work''.
Neither Mr Abbott nor Dr Yudhoyono spoke directly after their 30-minute meeting but Dr Natalegawa told reporters ''that specific modality, that specific possibility'' was not raised by Mr Abbott.
Shadow ministers Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison raised the tow-back policy in a separate meeting with Dr Natalegawa, who said he had listened careful to an explanation of the Coalition's people smuggling policy.
Yesterday, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen joined Ms Gillard's criticisms of the Opposition Leader, describing Mr Abbott as a ''lion'' in Canberra and a ''mouse'' in Indonesia, for failing to raise such a key plank of his policy.
Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney today that he would not be ''lectured'' to by the Prime Minister.
''The last thing I'm going to do is go into detail of discussions that I've had with the President and other officials in Indonesia, but it is simply wrong to say that we haven't discussed Coalition policies with the Indonesians,'' Mr Abbott said.
Mr Abbott said Ms Gillard should spend less time ''point scoring'' and accused the government of playing ''fast and loose'' with Australia's relationship with Indonesia.
With Michelle Grattan