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Sweden to be Added to Visa-On-Arrival List?

Sweden and Indonesia on Fast Track to Re-establish Cordial Relations.


Bali News:
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(1/22/2006)

A thawing of political relations between Sweden and Indonesia is expected to soon see the citizens of Sweden added to the list of countries eligible to purchase a visa on arrival when visiting Indonesia.

Relations between the two nations plumbed new depths in 2004 when the Swedish Government failed to acquiesce to Indonesia's demand that Sweden arrest the leaders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) living in exile in Stockholm. Hwoever, the peace agreement signed between GAM and the Government of Indonesia in August 2005 effectively ended hostilities in Aceh and paved the way for rapprochement between Sweden and Indonesia.

Heralding more cordial days ahead President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Sweden's State Secretary Lars Danielson last week in Jakarta.

In a press conference following that meeting, Indonesia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wiradjuna told the Jakarta Post, "We will certainly consider granting Sweden visa-on-arrival facilities during the upcoming review of the facility."

Hassan further confirmed Indonesia's improving relations with Sweden announcing that Jakarta would appoint an ambassador to Stockholm in the coming few months. Indonesia refused to appoint a new ambassador to Sweden in 2004 at the zenith of its displeasure with Swedish policy on GAM.



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