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Goff welcomes signing of Aceh Peace Accord

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

16 August 2005
Media statement

Goff welcomes signing of Aceh Peace Accord

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed the signing of the peace accord in Helsinki by the Indonesian Government and representatives of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

“This is an historic agreement and opens the way for the people of Aceh to put more than 30 years of fighting behind them,” Mr Goff said.

"The separatist struggle has resisted successive efforts to resolve and has been hugely destructive and costly in terms of human lives and economically.
“A lot of work remains to be done before we can be confident that the conflict is finally over. If the key elements of the peace accord – disarmament and withdrawal by some Indonesian troops as well as political and economic reform – are to be allowed to work then everyone involved in the crisis must be prepared to put their differences aside and work together.

“The 300 ASEAN and European Union monitors who will go to Aceh will play a vital role in ensuring the conditions of the agreement are met.

“When Helen Clark spoke at the tsunami relief conference in Indonesia earlier this year, she expressed the hope the some good might come out of the tragedy of the tsunami, if it caused the opposing sides in Aceh to set aside their differences and work for a future of cooperation and peace.

“We welcome the fact that some good has come out of the terrible tragedy of the tsunami, which has helped bring the two sides together.

“I congratulate the Government of Indonesia and the GAM for reaching this landmark peace agreement, and to the former Finnish President, Marti Ahtisaari, for his tireless efforts over the past six months in bringing all sides in the conflict together,” Mr Goff said.


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