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Subject: AFP: UN special envoy on E. Timor meets Wiranto
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 08:52:44 +0000
From: Tapol

Received from Joyo

UN special envoy on East Timor meets Indonesian armed forces chief

JAKARTA, Dec 21 (AFP) - The UN secretary general's special envoy for East Timor, Jamsheed Marker, met here Monday with Indonesian armed forces chief General Wiranto (Eds: one name) after a two-day visit to the troubled territory.

Marker, on a nine-day visit to Indonesia to push forward a solution to the East Timor problem based on an Indonesian autonomy proposal, held a closed door meeting with Wiranto at the defense ministry here.

"I had a very good and intensive meeting with Gen Wiranto. We discussed all aspects of East Timor as well as the UN proposal and the situation as it exists in East Timor," Marker told journalists.

"The general gave me his appreciation and (an) indication of what the Indonesian goverment has been doing and I am confident that these talks will push forward the process of dialogue," he added.

Marker added he was "neither surprised nor disappointed" by Indonesia maintaining its position that a referendum on self-determination is out of the question as a way to settle the East Timor problem.

"That has always been the position of the Indonesian government and the dialogue that we are continuing in New York is based on that position and the position of the Portugese government, which is the opposite -- that the intregation is not acceptable.

"But both sides agree to set aside those basic positions as this negotiation is taking place, so this is where we are at this moment," Marker said.

Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975, annexing it the following year after heavy fighting. The United Nations and most states continue to view Lisbon as the official administrator.

The UN secretary general's office has since 1983 sponsored a fruitless dialogue in New York between Indonesia and Portugal to find a settlement to the dragging problem.

But after the fall of former president Suharto in May, the New York negotiations were given new life with a proposal by Suharto's successor, B.J. Habibie, for broad autonomy for the territory.

Suharto, a former army general, had ordered the 1975 invasion.

Marker arrived in Indonesia last week and spent the first three days meeting with top Indonesian generals and with jailed East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao, now serving a 20-year prison sentence in Jakarta's Cipinang jail.

Xanana pledged his support for the UN-sponsored talks to find an autonomy formula, but he stuck to his position that autonomy must be followed by a referendum on self-determination within 10 years.

Marker spent two days in East Timor meeting with Indonesian military and goverment leaders there as well as representatives of pro- and anti-Indonesia movements.

But he had to beat a hasty retreat by helicopter on the last day of his visit Sunday when hundreds of pro-independence protestors stormed the airport in the capital of Dili, preventing him from boarding a regular civilian flight.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 1420 80153 Email: Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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