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New Zealand Congratulates New Indonesian President

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today extended New Zealand’s congratulations to President Wahid on being elected to office as the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia.

President Wahid’s election by Indonesia’s supreme parliamentary body - the People’s Consultative Assembly - follows parliamentary elections in June.

"President Wahid faces a challenging task as he assumes the Presidency of Indonesia.

"His moral authority as a respected religious leader in Indonesia, his long commitment to inclusion and reconciliation, and the political skills he has shown during the election process, all bode well for Indonesia’s future.

"Developments in East Timor remain a current focus for domestic and international attention.

"We took this opportunity to reiterate our congratulations on the historic decision taken yesterday by Indonesia to recognise the outcome of the UN ballot in East Timor.

"We look forward to working with President Wahid and his Government to support a peaceful transition to independence for East Timor, and the effective reconstruction and development of East Timor.

"We want to build on the many common interests that exist between our two countries. Despite the differences in our size and economies we share interests in economic prosperity, growth and regional stability."

"New Zealand looks forward to consolidating those relationships with Indonesia in the period ahead," said Mrs Shipley.

ENDS

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