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Indonesia rejects no-fly zone request for Bush visit DENPASAR - Indonesia has rejected a request by the US government to make the air space over Bali a no-fly zone for eight hours next week when US President, George W Bush, makes a brief stopover on the island, reports said today. "We give the same facilities to all visiting foreign heads of state. So there will be no special treatment for the US president," Indonesian Transportation Minister Agum Gumeler told the state-run Antara news agency.
Bush is scheduled to visit Bali for a four-hour stopover on Wednesday when he will meet with Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and at least three moderate Muslim leaders at a hotel near the airport. The United States is concerned about security in Bali because it was the site of a terrorist attack on October 12, 2002, that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. Seven US nationals died in the Bali bombings of two popular nightspots on the island's Legian entertainment strip, in Kuta district.
Indonesian Air Force spokesman Brigadier General Sagom Tamboen said US authorities had asked Indonesia to clear Bali's Nguraj Rai airport from all flights for four hours before and after Bush's arrival and departure. "The Indonesian government will only follow the existing international regulation whereby we will give the US presidential plane a few moments precedence over other aircraft on landing and departure, not four hours before and four hours after take-off," said Tamboen.
Bush will fly to Bali from Singapore, his first stop after Bangkok where he is scheduled to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend. In their bilateral talks, Bush and Megawati are expected to cover a number of issues including terrorism, US foreign policy in the Middle East and the possibility of a resumption of full military-to-military relations.
The US imposed an embargo on all military sales to the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) in the aftermath of widespread human rights abuses committed by pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor in 1999.



Posted in Human rights @ 18 October 2003 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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