Indonesia: Aceh peace talks make breakthrough - reports

STOCKHOLM, Jul 11, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - The exiled leadership of the Aceh separatist movement currently in talks with the Indonesian Government has agreed to a demand by Jakarta that the tsunami-hit province should remain a part of Indonesia, Radio Sweden reported on Monday.

Free Aceh Movement (GAM) spokesman Bachtiar Abdullah said in the statement that the separatists and representatives of Indonesian government met in Stockholm and reached the agreement, according to Radio Sweden.

During consultations in Sweden at the weekend, both sides agreed" the only way to a comprehensive and sustainable peace in Aceh was through a negotiated agreement that gives to the people of Aceh the right and capacity to determine their own affairs within the context of the Republic of Indonesia," the report said.

Indonesian government and separatist rebels will meet this week in Helsinki, Finland for a final round of informal peace talks amid optimism an end to three decades of conflict is in sight in Aceh, the hardest hit region in the December 26 tsunami disaster.

However, in the same statement, the GAM also reiterated its demand that Jakarta allows for the establishment of local political parties in Aceh, a request that has been consistently rejected by the Indonesian government.