Subject: NZ ties with Indonesia back on track, says envoy

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Australian Financial Review January 9, 2002

NZ ties with Indonesia back on track, says envoy


Indonesia's ambassador to New Zealand believes relations between the two countries are on the mend.

They turned frosty in 1999 when New Zealand cut off military ties in protest at the bloodshed in East Timor after the territory voted for independence.

Those ties have not been restored, but the ambassador, Mr Susanto Sutoyo said yesterday he believed relations could return to normal this year.

New Zealand had been training Indonesian pilots, and he expected that would resume. New Zealand was helping with the establishment of an ombudsman position.

Mr Sutoyo said he did not believe the East Timor issue would hurt relations between the countries.

"East Timor as a problem is gone ... The human rights issue is moving down the right track."

Mr Sutoyo has been Indonesia's representative in New Zealand since last June, arriving a week before the then president, Mr Abdurrahman Wahid, met the NZ Prime Minister, Mrs Helen Clark, in Christchurch.

The career diplomat said he hoped to increase contact between the people of the two countries. Closer business, arts and cultural links were on his agenda.

New Zealand exports to Indonesia are worth about $NZ532 million ($441 million) a year.

Mr Sutoyo said Indonesia hoped to improve ties with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, both critics of the pace of economic reform in Indonesia.

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