Indonesian government to discuss Aceh issue with EC, ASEAN

JAKARTA, Jul 19, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - The Indonesian government is scheduled to hold a meeting with representatives of the European Community and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss details of their missions to monitor the peace agreement with the Aceh rebels, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda said here on Tuesday.

"We hope the meeting will be held on July 28 to work out the details on how to manage the Aceh monitoring mission from the EU and ASEAN," Hassan said after meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Hassan said that he had sent letters on July 12 to foreign ministers of ASEAN countries, urging them to send a mission to monitor the peace agreement, which is expected to be signed in August.

EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana said in Brussels on Monday that the 25-nation bloc would send around 200 observers to help monitor the agreement. Solana said he would visit Jakarta next week to hold talks with senior government officials to discuss the mission.

The representatives of the Indonesian government and the free Aceh movement (GAM) signed a preliminary peace agreement on Sunday at the fifth round of negotiation held in Helsinki. The document stipulates that the two sides will resolve differences through negotiation within one country, the republic of Indonesia. The GAM will disarm within three months and the government troops will withdraw from Aceh.

The fighting between the government troops and the rebels of GAM since 1976 has claimed lives of 15,000 people.