Subject: AFP: Portugal demands permanent UN presence
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 12:21:48 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Agence France Presse
Portugal calls for UN team in East Timor
LISBON, Dec 2
Portugual called on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday to send a permanent United Nations delegation to East Timor to prevent further civilian casualties in the troubled territory.
The appeal was part of a text presented by a parliamentary committee on the former Portuguese colony -- annexed by Indonesia in 1976 -- and approved by all Portuguese political parties.
The deputies called on Annan to send as soon as possible a delegation to look into attacks on civilians and prevent further outbreaks of violence.
The text added that Portugal, officially still the administrator of East Timor, would continue negotiations with Indonesia under the auspices of the United Nations, although it added that this did not necessarily mean improving ties with Jakarta.
Last month Portugal suspended talks with Indonesia at the United Nations, pending clarification of reported civilian deaths during Indonesian military operations in East Timor.
Annan said in a statement at the time that he was "seriously disturbed" by the reports of civilian casualties.
The Portuguese deputies stressed that future talks would aim "to find a just solution which is internationally acceptable for East Timor and to fight for the rights, the dignity and freedom of the East Timorese."
The talks are scheduled to start again on February 5.