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Helsinki agreement won’t internationalise the Aceh issue: Kalla

Detik.com - June 3, 2005

Luhur Hertanto, Jakarta – The People’s Representative Assembly (DPR) is free express its strident opposition to the Helsinki meetings but the government will not end the meetings which are aimed at reaching an agreement with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). The government denies that these meetings represent an effort to internationalise the Aceh issue.

“[If they are concerned about] Internationalisation such as occurred before in East Timor. Where there was UN peacekeeping troops. In Aceh there is no such thing”, said Vice-president Jusuf Kalla at a press conference at the State Palace on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan in Jakarta of Friday June 3.

Kalla’s remarks were in response to a statement by DPR speaker Agung Laksono who said that he believes that the government is trapped in a plot by GAM to turn the Aceh question into an international issue.

The DPR also opposes the involvement of a regional team from ASEAN and the European Union to monitor the implementation of an agreement between the government and GAM. They believe that the involvement of ASEAN and the EU is dangerous because it further opens up the possibility of foreign involvement in resolving the Aceh question.

Kalla said that there is no need to worry too much about the involvement of ASEAN and the EU. The role of the EU and ASEAN as agreed to by Indonesia and GAM is only as monitors of the implementation of an agreement.

These two regional organisations have absolutely no authority to speak on fundamental issues. The authority of the two organisations is limited to technical issues such as the storage of weapons, the reintegration of GAM guerrilla fighters into society and the like.

“Furthermore, the monitors will come from civilian organisations. The will not carry weapons. Don’t be concerned about this”, asserted the vice-president.

The vice-president also said that the actual agreement between Indonesia and GAM would not be signed until the formal negotiations are held which are planned for the beginning of August. (iy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]
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