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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 15, 2003

Statement on Free Aceh Movement
Statement by the President

The United States welcomes the decision of the Government of Indonesia and the leadership of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to resume discussions in Tokyo this weekend aimed at implementing the December 2002 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) between Indonesia and the GAM.. The United States strongly supports efforts to pursue a negotiated peace in Aceh within the framework of a unified Indonesia.

I commend President Megawati for demonstrating her government's commitment to the Aceh peace process and for her willingness to go the extra mile in pursuit of peace. In returning to the negotiating table, the two sides are taking a concrete step toward a better future for the people of Aceh. I call on the leadership of the GAM to renew its commitment to a peaceful solution in Aceh and for both sides to pursue good faith implementation of the COHA. The United States appreciates the determined efforts of the Henri Dunant Center to advance the cause of peace and justice for Aceh. I also wish to thank Prime Minister Koizumi and the Government of Japan for hosting the negotiations between Indonesia and the GAM and taking an active leadership role in this process.

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