Finnish President Tarja Halonen to Visit Indonesia in Febuary 2008

Finnish President Tarja Halonen is expected to visit Indonesia’s province of Aceh in Febuary 2008 to monitor progress in the peace building and reconciliation process in which her predecessor Martti Ahtisaari played a key role.
    “According to the plan, the Finnish president will visit Aceh sometime in February 2008 to have first hand knowledge over the situation after the (signing of) the Aug. 15, 2005 truce,” said Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf.
    He referred to the landmark peace accord that ended 26-year-old rebellion by the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in the resource-rich province on the northern tip of Sumatra island.
The accord was signed by the Indonesian government and GAM in Helsinki of Finland under the auspices of the Crisis Management Initiative, a non-governmental group founded by Ahtisaari who acted as mediator during years of tough negotiations between the two camps.
“Later in January, a special team from Finland will come to Aceh to discuss the agenda during President Tarja Halonen’s visit,” said Irwandi, the first free-elected Aceh governor who happens to be one of GAM leaders.

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