Govt-Aceh rebel talks ‘positive’

Agence France Presse

Helsinki, April 17:

The Indonesian government and Aceh separatists yesterday agreed to hold a fourth round of peace talks next month, saying the third round ended on a “constructive note”, the Finnish hosts said. The talks were aimed at ending a drawn-out conflict that has left over 12,000 people dead. “The negotiations have been held in a positive and constructive atmosphere,” said former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, the mediator in the talks. The new round of talks will take place from May 26 to 31, he said. Both sides had agreed to continue seeking “a permanent and comprehensive solution with dignity for all” to the conflict, Ahtisaari said. They were willing to define a framework for a local administrative framework and explore the possibility for reform involving local elections. They would also continue to talk about an amnesty for rebels, and combat corruption as well as review the allocation of revenues.