Sat, 08 Apr 2000

President to discuss truth body with Mbeki

JAKARTA (JP): President Abdurrahman Wahid plans to discuss the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission with his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki during a visit to the country this weekend, an official said on Friday.

Head of State Protocol Rahmat Ranudiwijaya told a briefing on the eve of Abdurrahman's four-nation tour that the President would meet with Mbeki in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria on Sunday morning.

Abdurrahman brought up the idea of the commission early last year and said at that time that it would be modeled on the inquiry into the atrocities committed during the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Rahmat said Abdurrahman was scheduled to depart on Saturday afternoon from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta.

The overseas trip will also take Abdurrahman to Mexico, Cuba and Hong Kong.

"The President is scheduled to attend the first Group of 77 Summit in Havana, Cuba, from April 11 through April 14 and is expected to return to Jakarta on April 17," Rahmat said.

The President will also meet with the Cuban President Fidel Castro, he added.

The G-77, which was founded in 1964 and now boasts 133-member countries, seeks to promote development and economic cooperation between southern hemisphere countries.

On his journey home from Hong Kong, Abdurrahman will make a stopover in Tokyo to visit ailing former Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi and meet with his successor Yoshiro Mori, Rahmat said. (byg)