KL hopes for peace in Aceh


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 21 May 2003

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia hopes that the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) will continue to search for a peaceful solution. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia believed in “negotiations to any problems”. 

“We do not believe in violence,” he told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Bio Valley Malaysia at Dengkil near here yesterday.  

He was asked to comment n the attack by Indonesia on the Aceh rebel positions after peace talks between Jakarta and GAM in Tokyo had failed. 

President Megawati Sukarnoputri had given the go-ahead for war against the rebels.  

In Pasir Gudang, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Malaysia was bracing for a possible spill over of Acehnese attempting to enter the country should war break out in Aceh. 

“We must be prepared to tackle this matter and special emphasis must be given to our coastline fronting Aceh. 

“There is nothing much that we can do (to prevent war) as it is an internal matter. However, the result (of a war) will certainly have an impact on us,” he told reporters after visiting the Tanjung Langsat Port Sdn Bhd yesterday.  

The Deputy Prime Minister also expressed concern over the safety of Malaysian citizens residing in the province, advising them to look after their safety should they decide not to return home. 

“I read in the newspapers that they do not want to come home. Maybe they feel safe there and hopefully they can take care of themselves,” he said.  

Speaking at the same function, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it was important for Indonesia and GAM to find a solution to avoid further bloodshed, as war would have repercussion on the region which needed peace and stability to strengthen weak economies. 

“We urge all parties to avert physical confrontation and we hope Indonesia can maintain its sovereignty and territorial identity. 

“Apart from alerting security forces, the Government will also instruct our embassy in Jakarta to monitor the situation closely and update us from time to time.” 

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