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Subject: RT: Xanana OKs limited Jakarta-Lisbon ties
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 09:12:21 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <etan@etan.org>

Friday July 17, 12:01 am Eastern Time

East Timor leader agrees on Jakarta-Lisbon ties

JAKARTA, July 17 (Reuters) - Jailed East Timorese guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao said on Friday Indonesia and Portugal could establish a form of diplomatic relations blocked previously by Lisbon's demands for his release from prison.

``I agree that special interest sections between Portugal and Indonesia can proceed without me being released,'' he told reporters in a meeting room in Jakarta's Cipinang prison where he is being held.

Nations without formal diplomatic ties frequently maintain so-called special interest sections staffed by their diplomats in friendly embassies in each others' capitals.

Proposals to establish such ties between Indonesia and Portugal have fallen through in the past over Lisbon's insistence on the release of Gusmao, who is serving a 20-year sentence for armed insurgency.

Gusmao spoke after a meeting with U.N. special envoy Jamsheed Marker, who told reporters they had discussed all aspects of new Indonesian proposals to grant special status to East Timor to break a deadlock over the future of the former Portuguese colony Jakarta annexed 22 years ago.

Marker also said he had discussed Gusmao's possible release from prison with the Indonesian authorities.

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