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Spanish FM Arrives In Indonesia For Talks On Military Aid

Minggu, 24 Mei 2009

Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos arrived in Jakarta on Wednesday and will head on Thursday to tsunami-devastated Aceh province to meat the president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for talks on military aid.
Susilo left Jakarta on Wednesday for Aceh and north Sumatra Provinces.

The Spanish minister met vice president Jusuf kalla on Wednesday and discussed the planned dispatch of a Spanish Navvessel and 650 troops to Indonesia, the Spanish embassy in Jakarta informed The Jakarta Post.
On Wednesday, Kalla gave a deadline of there months for the withdrawal of foreign troops, saying the sooner they left, the better.

Forces from Australia, The United States, Singapore, Melaysia, Germany, China, India, Spain, Pakistan, Japan and Switzerland have scrambled to help with relief efforts in Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra’ island, following the December 26 disaster.

More than 106.500 people were killed in Indonesia by the magnitude 9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, with almost all those deaths occurring in Aceh. Around the Indian Ocean the death toll from the disaster at more than 158,000.

“Three months are enough. The sooner {they leave} the better,” said Kalla, quoted by the official Antara news agency, when asked how long should foreign troops should stay in Aceh. When asked about long term relief efforts, he said:“We do not need foreign troops.”

The issue of foreign troops is sensitive in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Moslem nation. There presence in scen of a long-running separatist rebellion, has also raised some nationalist hackles.
Many Indonesians, however, have praised the helping hand.

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