Subject: WH: Letter from Clinton
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 09:37:59 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Letter from President Bill Clinton to Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-CA).


Dear Barbara:

I appreciate your letter and recommendations for how we might encourage protection of human rights, peace and stability for East Timor.

My Administration is committed to working toward an equitable peaceful, and lasting resolution to the question of East Timor's status. As Indonesia pursues its democratic transition, we believe there is a new opportunity to achieve fundamental progress, and we intend to do all we can to ensure that this moment is not wasted. We are encouraged that the Indonesian government has outlined new autonomy proposals that recognize East Timor as a special case and that the government has begun troop withdrawals as a confidence building measure. We also welcome pledges made in recent talks between Indonesian and Portuguese Foreign Ministers Alatas and Gama, including their announcement that their governments will discuss wide-ranging autonomy proposals for East Timor.

You asked about emergency food and medical relief. My Administration has committed over $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Indonesia in FY 1998, including medical supplies and funds for job creation We also have provided $50 million in food aid under Public Law 480, Title II, of the Food and Agriculture Act. Under a program we announced in July, the United States will provide Indonesia with at least 500,000 tons of wheat to help meet the country's basic food needs. While this assistance is not earmarked to East Timor, it is our expectation that East Timorese will benefit along with other needy Indonesians disadvantaged by the economic crisis that has struck that country.

I will keep East Timor high on our agenda as we work with Indonesia toward economic recovery and manage the transition to democracy.

Sincerely, /s/Bill

The Honorable Barbara Lee
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0509

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