Subject: UN Conference outcome
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 11:58:28 +1000
From: email@example.com (Geoffrey Heard)
União Democrática Timorense
East Timorese angry as Portugal buckles under UN and Indonesian pressure
PERTH: East Timorese around the world are angry and frustrated at the apparent weakening of Portugal's stance on East Timor's right to self-determination in critical negotiations with Indonesia and the United Nations in New York.
The President of the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT), João Carrascalão, who attended the talks as an official observer, said today it appeared Portugal had buckled under pressure from United Nations officials to discuss Indonesia's proposal of special autonomy for East Timor as an integral part of Indonesia. "This amounts to de facto recognition by Portugal of the illegal Indonesian invasion and annexation of East Timor without any quid pro quo fromIndonesia. "We East Timorese want just one thing - a proper act of self-determination by the East Timorese people, and then we want to be allowed to have the independence we know the vast majority of East Timorese will vote for. "That is non-negotiable. All we ask of Portugal is that they support us in that. I am shocked and very, very angry. I am going to Portugal for urgent talks." The Secretary-General of UDT, Domingos De Oliviera, called the talks a "sham". "If the UN and Portugal allow Indonesia to get away with the illegal annexation of East Timor, it will amount to betrayal of the East Timorese people. They will be giving Indonesia, one of the most corrupt states on earth, permission to continue the genocidal torture, rape, starvation and murder of East Timorese. "People in East Timor are crying out for help. This is not a solution to the 'East Timor problem', it is a face saver for Portugal and the UN. I appeal to Portugal, and all democratic nations, to stand against the betrayal of the East Timorese." Mr De Oliviera noted that it was ironical that Portugal should be weakening at this time, when there were clear signs that the United States was strengthening its stance in support of East Timor. "The world is becoming conscious of East Timor and now knows at least some of the truth about the corruption and incompetence of the Indonesian government. Portugal should be strengthening its position at this time, not weakening it." FURTHER INFORMATION: Domingos De Oliviera, Secretary-General, UDT % 08 9384 7943 Issued on behalf of UDT by Geoffrey Heard & Associates
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The conference communique:
On 4 and 5 August 1998, the Secretary-General held meetings in New York on the question of East Timor with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and Portugal, Mr. Ali Alatas and Mr. Jaime Gama.
The meetings took place in an open, cordial and constructive atmosphere. The following points emerged from the two-day talks:
* The Ministers agreed to hold in-depth discussions on Indonesia's proposals for a special status, based on a wide-ranging autonomy, for East Timor without prejudice to their basic positions of principle. For this purpose, they have requested their senior officials to intensify their discussions under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General's Personal Representative and to report to the Ministerial meeting at an early date. It is hoped that an agreement could be reached on this issue before the end of the year.
* The Ministers agreed to involve the East Timorese more closely in the search for a solution. In this connection, they welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to intensify his consultations with East Timorese representatives in East Timor and outside, individually or in groups, in order to take into account their views and to keep them abreast of developments in the tripartite talks.
* The Ministers also discussed other aspects of the East Timor issue. They took note of the recent positive developments in Indonesia with respect to the question of East Timor, in particular the Indonesian Government's intention to further gradually reduce the level of its military presence in East Timor and to expedite the release of the East Timorese political prisoners. They agreed to continue consideration of these and other related aspects of the East Timor question.
* The Ministers agreed that the All-inclusive Intra-East Timorese Dialogue (AIETD) should resume by October 1998.
* The Ministers agreed to establish interest sections in friendly embassies in each other's capitals by the end of 1998 and to relax their visa policies towards each other's nationals.
* The next Senior Officials' Meeting of the two sides under the chairmanship of the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General will take place in New York by the end of September 1998.
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