Indonesia to reopen ties with Sweden following Aceh peace deal

Indonesia to reopen ties with Sweden following Aceh peace deal

JAKARTA, Dec. 28 Kyodo

Indonesia said Wednesday it plans to reestablish diplomatic ties with Sweden, which it froze in 2000 in retaliation over Sweden’s refusal to hand over separatist leaders, following a peace deal with the rebels.

Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda told reporters the government will reopen its embassy in Stockholm in the near future to mark the normalization of ties.

”The government will submit the names of candidates for our ambassador to Sweden to the House of Representatives in January,” Wirajuda said.

Jakarta closed its embassy in Stockholm in 2000 and withdrew its ambassador after Stockholm refused to hand over or arrest leaders of the Free Aceh Movement, or GAM, who had been seeking independence for Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh since 1976.

The rebels, including top leader Hasan Tiro, the grandson of Indonesian hero Teuku Cik Di Tiro, have become Swedish citizens.

Spurred by the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated Aceh, the Indonesian government and GAM reached a peace deal in August.

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