The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the agreement reached in principle yesterday between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement, intended to bring peace after nearly 30 years of conflict in the province. He looks forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on 15 August 2005 and hopes this breakthrough heralds a new and brighter future for the people of Aceh.
The Secretary-General commends both sides for their determination to reach a lasting and sustainable peace in Aceh and strongly urges them to demonstrate continued resolve and commitment throughout the implementation of the agreed terms. He also applauds the crucial role played by Martti Ahtisaari as the mediator in these negotiations.
The Secretary-General is encouraged to learn of the readiness of the European Union, and possibly the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), to provide a monitoring team in Aceh once the Memorandum of Understanding is official.