21 Feb 2007

Finnish negotiator has hopes of peace breakthrough in Papua

11:05 am on 21 February 2007

A Finnish negotiator who helped to broker a peace deal in the Indonesian province of Aceh says there is political will for a solution to the Papua conflict.

Dr Timo Kivimaki was adviser to the former Finnish president Marti Ahtisaari during talks in Helsinki between the GAM separatists in Aceh and officials from Jakarta.

Dr Kivimaki says that agreement meant negotiators were warmly received in rebel strongholds in Aceh and also by the government side.

He says the goodwill generated from the Aceh agreement can be transferred to Papua.

"and I think that means that there is, in a way, there is more political will, or more momentum for Papua process, peace process, than there ever was in Aceh. But at the same time of course the, the issue is so much more complicated, so all the political will that there is, is needed."

Dr Kivimaki says there's no

guarantee a Finnish negotiator would be seen as neutral - he says ideally a mediator should be from the moon