Subject: LUSA: Gama requests US involvement in transition process
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 08:30:35 -0500
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <pet@web.net>

26 FEV 99 - 18:30 East Timor: Portuguese Foreign Minister Requests US Involvement in Transition Process

Lisbon, Feb. 26 (Lusa) - Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama has written a letter to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asking the United States to aid the transition process in East Timor. Gama said Friday US intervention was needed to help end the "inadmissible" formation of armed militias in the territory. "Indonesia is to blame for the increasingly unstable situation in East Timor" he stressed. Indonesia's policy towards East Timor is cause for concern, Gama said. He added that Jakarta has demonstrated its commitment to giving the East Timorese the choice of autonomy or independence, yet at the same time is backing the creation and manipulation of paramilitary groups. Pro-Indonesia militias have unleashed a wave of violence in East Timor since Jakarta's January announcement that it would withdraw from the half-island territory if the East Timorese reject a proposal for enhanced autonomy within Indonesia. Madeleine Albright travels to Jakarta on March 4 to begin an official visit to Indonesia. -Lusa-

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